Prowling the Museum of the Americas
Digital Painting 2007
Used a personal photo for reference.
Down in Arizona, near the Petrified Forest, is the Museum of the Americas with large dinosaurs placed to entice. Just don’t climb on them. They have totally weird security prowling the grounds that’ll track you down, force you to play Dino Attack for hours, and then further penalize you by having you purchase them the latest in Bionicles.
This has been sitting on my computer for a year waiting for me to finish it up. Another Taliesin Sculpture Garden painting is here.
I just liked the shadows on the pavement as being a part of the sculpture garden at that moment. And the man in the fish shirt with the Taliesin West water bottle jammed in his back pocket. There we were in the hot autumn (just beginning) desert and he in this shirt with the fish swimming in the blue. Like a desert pond.
“A desert pond?”
Never mind. My eye hit the light on that blue shirt and its fish and stuck there. Wow, it’s a…desert pond!
Photos don’t really represent Taliesin West as it feels. The buildings look like they’d behave like regular buildings in a sense of weight. But Taliesin West, despite the stone and concrete employed, gives the impression of an origami structure, lightweight, even fragile, which isn’t much to do with the canvas roofing, but a general sensibility. In photos it’s impressive but in the flesh it’s peculiarly unassuming. Taliesin West doesn’t overwhelm in part or as a whole. The atmosphere of the textures and space is receptive and calm. The design seems content to give a welcoming first impression and then wait for you to notice, over a period of time, how it is a place of a thousand and one perspectives, each individually framed and on reserve for when you turn the corner and are open to seeing. Maybe that’s one reason H.o.p. liked it there as much as he did. Because he loved it. With the exception of the UFO Museum I think it remains at the top of favored places he’s visited.
Needed to do a painting of H.o.p. and the wooden alien. I may do another.
If there was anything that struck me as curious at the museum it was the alien heads set among greenery. You can see one on the right in the larger view. I don’t remember if it was plastic greenery but probably was. Anywhere there was greenery there were alien heads sticking up out of the leaves.
You can also see in front of the alien head shown here a sculpture of the “Thinking Alien” that someone did.
They’re going to be building a new UFO museum. Plans up on the wall there behind the registration desk. I wonder what will happen with this old theater? Maybe some enterprising person can come up with the Roswell Incident Musical and present it at the theater year-round. This is, after all, New Mexico’s biggest tourist attraction.
P.S. I loved the UFO museum.
A photo I took at the museum that I used as reference:
Decided to do a digital painting of this a while back, liking the expression on the young woman’s face, the woman who is possibly the mother following (the one with the money being spent), and the woman with the boy walking toward the camera. I hadn’t been to the fair since I was a teen and one thing that struck me was how pink everything was. I expected a broader range of bright colors, but the surprising predominate one was pink and the second one a dull purple, and in certain parts of the fairway there was so much pink and dull purple that it cast everything with a pink hue. Which makes me wonder if there is a psychological reason for the use.
Original photo I took at the fair:
Digital painting (with photo by artist as reference)
20 by 15 inches
Posted the original photo of this a while back. There was a winsomness to it, H.o.p. looking on the scene, that I don’t know if I caught as strongly in the painting. Anyway, I love this and have a couple more of the fair I’d started and have yet to finish.
Like the carnie with money in hand preparing to hand the guy the basketball.
The original photo I took at the fair:
When the tour guide was showing us around, I was thinking I wanted to do a painting of her as tour guide going through her paces and tried to grab a couple of photos of her without being too obtrusive. Wanted her in the hot sun with the umbrella. And the woman in the flowered pants had also caught my attention. She was alone while all others were in pairs, with friends or family, and there seemed something a bit different about her. I kept trying to imagine what she did for a living but it is usually impossible to guess what people do for a living.
And yes that’s H.o.p. Artist and fledgling animator. My pride and joy. Who has taken to calling me “stupid head” the past week whenever he disagrees with me.
To give you an idea of how I do things.
We were at the museum and ah I got the idea for the painting.
I had taken this picture of Hop–which is what gave me the idea.
I took this picture of a mural at Fernbank with the two T Rexes facing off.
Cropped and put together the two images to use as a reference. Did the painting in Photoshop. Altered a few things in the Fernbank mural along the way (actually altered a lot but you can’t tell it). Opted to leave H.o.p.’s fingers blurry for sense of motion. The artist who did the mural at Fernbank used images I’ve seen elsewhere for a reference but I can’t place where. But I know because I remember seeing a number of them (we have tons of dino books).