Every show I do has a "lead" painting, a piece that is hung front and center in the show along with the show sign. Usually the lead painting is the first canvas I create at the beginning of show production, the piece that I love best, the piece that best represents the theme and spirit of the show, and the canvas that inspires & informs a bunch of follow-up work. Approximately two weeks ago, I completed the first piece destined for the Figmenta show in October based on the sketch you see here. As a part of show prep, I've been doodling painting ideas for several weeks and this was the piece I decided to begin with when the school year ended. Sometimes I create more detailed sketches of individual parts of a painting but often, I work off of these very vague blueprints so a certain amount of serendipity remains while I'm working.
Contrary to my personal traditions, this will not be the lead painting for Figmenta. This painting has been "under review" for a while now and I'm still unsure whether or not I even like this canvas. Since I completed this piece, my idea for the show has shifted and this canvas doesn't really "fit" now. Currently, I don't really have any desire to turn this into a series. These things happen. I like to have the theme/technique completely ironed out before I start painting but sometimes, new ideas start to flow once I'm engaged in the process. Figmenta is also very different from previous shows so I'm venturing into unknown territory; backtracking and unexpected route changes are inevitable. That said, I hate to waste canvas and I don't dislike this piece so much that I want to paint over it. In time, I may even fall in love with this big blue kitty. For now, I am going to pursue my other ideas and hope to come back to this one. As long as I can create a couple of other pieces that echo this, it will probably end up on the wall.
The piece is called The Hitchhikers and it is painted with acrylics on a 15x30-inch stretched canvas with a 1-1/2-inch deep cradle.