Influence comes from so many places, isn't it true? My newest game is to identify the source that gives me inspiration and share it. (to prove that my brain really is a big collage....?) No, seriously now. Since I am becoming almost ridiculous as to the source of my ephemera for copyright reasons, I seem to have carried this thought process over into my brain and I am now seeking the source of my techniques, ideas, and visions.
Today I bring to you the story of Gabriel Combs. He's a young struggling artist living in the challenging state of Minnesota. I say challenged because for some reason, unless you are living in NY city, it just seems so damned hard to make a living doing art. Truth is, it's hard doing art EVEN in NY city. Being an artist ain't easy no matter where you are.
I read about Gabriel back in March, in a blog called The Chronicle of Artistic Failure in America. Wow, heavy duty title for a blog. But the article really was a good one, and it tugged on my heartstrings. It described Combs as " an artist struggling to get noticed in a market overflooded with artists." Sound familiar? Turned out Mr. Combs was hard on his luck and at the time he had turned to selling pieces on ebay. The whole thing moved me and at the time I had a few spare bucks, so I went to ebay and bid on one of his works. Afterwards, I felt bad, it didn't cost much and I knew that he would have charged me if his situation was different, but I was hoping that some money to him was better than none.
The piece was a super cool futuristic one, and I loved it right from the start. The coolest thing of all was that it was done on a piece of wood that so obviously was previously a dresser drawer!
My boyfriend immediately announced he didn't like the idea that you could tell it was a dresser drawer. I told him that was the thing that I liked the most about it!!
Several months pass.
Chris is outside ripping up antique furniture that is beyond repair. I find myself staring at a pile of dresser drawers in various states of disarray. I picked out one and it became one of my latest works. I can directly point to the inspiration of Gabriel Combs as the reason why I used this particular piece of wood. I got so much more for my money than I had imagined in that auction....I got a new idea that could take seed in my pea brain. A new idea that could be dragged out later on and used in my own way. Copyright free.
This piece is called "Eddie had a Pileated Heart". The little box that juts out in 3d fashion used to be a lime green silk box with no bottom. I am thinking it may have housed a little oriental doll at one time. I painted it all black and made the new bottom so I could use it. The pileated woodpeckers are the ones with the red hoods. I like them cuz they are huge and eat from my birdfeeder. And the dude in this piece? Somehow he reminds me of my cousin Eddie, hence the title.
To vary things a bit, and to perhaps grow on Gabriel's idea of the dresser as canvas, I painted the little wooden dowels black and white, using them as part of the design of the piece.
And whatever became of the starving artist Gabriel Combs? I found he still sells pieces on ebay. With a tough economy and winter on the way, perhaps some of us can find a way to sponsor someone. Even just a little effort goes a long way you know. And I just proved to you that you get even more than you paid for.