Thursday, May 31, 2012

Matti Paints - Catchup Pt. 2

Shannon and Hayley:

Painting these two was a blast. Learning from working with the sisters, I wanted to make sure that the colour choice was more limited, and the time was also more restrained.
We did many things differently for this one: For one, Shannon and Hayley each picked their songs for the other person, and when the song played, I had to paint the one who the song had been chosen for. Again, we went with ten songs since I figured it would be better to keep them together and it put pressure on me to work faster.
In the end I think I got peacocks. Two beautiful, lovely friendly peacocks. The experience itself was dynamic and exciting. And I have to laugh that there will forever be people who think them to be lesbians simply because I asked them to be painted together.

This is Kevin

I have long admired Kevin's talent and was very excited when I finally got the chance to paint him.
His colour choices were in my extreme comfort zone so I feel like I really got to explore my wild side and attempt to add a whole new level of detail to the pictures. However, I found the music to be a lot more somber than I was expecting which I think reflected a bit in the final product. I ended up giving him angel wings that ended up looking more like marble on his skin than anything else.

Presenting Kevin

Matti Paints - Subject Nikola

I was really excited for Nikola's painting for many reasons.
Pictured: The Canvas
We've got along pretty well from when we first met each other at my friends Magic the Gathering party. I'm so cool, I went to a Magic the Gathering party.
Pictured : Cool

So when I was contacted by Nikola, I jumped at the opportunity to paint him. We both got along very well so it made sense that he'd be an easy canvas to paint.
Pictured: I'm on a boat!
His song choices matched mine very well and I was pleasantly surprised by more than a few of his choices. Actually, one of my secret prides of this project has been the reaction I've got from many people upon them seeing my playlist.
Them: "I love your song choices!"
Me: "Thank you so much" *pride*
Anyway, his colour choices were slightly more unusual.
As you can see from my canvases by now, I have a little bit of a comfort zone. I use a lot of blues, reds and purples in my work. Green tend to be softer and outlines usually are highlighted best in blacks.
With Nikola he chose lavender, white, brown forest green and orange.
I was surprised when I started because he immediately took on a clown-fish type of quality. He's playful, enjoyable and we even ended up in several surprisingly deep conversations.
I really feel like with each passing canvas that I'm finding out more and more about people, but more importantly, what brings people peace. What's the process of giving someone some sort of relaxation and meditative peace? I can't help but wonder if this project is effecting all of us in a more significant way than we realize. It makes me want to branch out and paint more and more people. It makes me feel alive and connected to someone. To get the privilege of painting someones body, and transform them into a work of art is a unique opportunity.

It was a thrill getting to work with Nikola, and I hope I did his playful spirit and exciting personality to justice.

 Presenting: Nikola

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Matti Paints- The Catch Up

So due to some disappointing issues with Book Face I'm going to be making one giant posting here displaying all the pictures with my overall impressions of my last few canvases rather than being able to go in depth with each individual person. I hopes you guys can forgives me.

Caitlin and Sarah P.:
These two delightful sisters were my first duet and proved to be an interesting challenge. First off, what do you do when two people are so incredibly different, but still need to share a picture together? Caitlin is the elder, but her sister Sarah tends to be the more over bearing one. Maybe it's her youth but I found her attitude quite amusing. Maybe I just know too many drag queens now, but she has the distinct air of one. Caitlin I know from working with her, and the two of us had a great time together. Considering I knew Caitlin a lot more, I think this painting was more of an exploration of Sarah. Together, the two of them go well together, but it proved to be an interesting challenge. As such I allowed them to pick out more colours and more songs than anyone else. However, once the painting began, I quickly realized it wasn't necessary. Using so many colours actually made it more difficult to pinpoint a personality, and the extra songs proved unnecessary since in the end, I actually finished at around the same time as everyone else.
Yes, this painting is simpler, but I was aiming for more of contrast between the girls to show their own personalities more. Overall, I think it was successful, and I greatly enjoyed my time getting to know them in such a new and creative way.

Sarah C.:
Me and Sarah are friends from high school, and much like my experience with Jonna, getting to paint her was a fantastic and exciting night. We quickly realized that despite the amount of time that's passed, that our friendship was as strong as ever, and getting to spend the time with her, albeit short, was still time I will cherish.
I love her colour palate since I believe it perfectly matched her soft and beautiful soul. I really wanted to experiment with crafting on her skin, and I think that she's the first time I feel like I've created designs that not only work with the body, but tell a story. As a result, I feel that Sarah's patterns helped to emphasize a lot of the work that goes into these paintings in a way that didn't sacrifice quality. I find with each passing canvas I can work in more and more details, so it's an interesting process to see where these will go from here.

Heather was a friend of Georgia, and for the first time after completing a canvas, I actually am disappointed that I didn't get to know her more. I love Georgia, I dearly love her, and when she said that she had a friend who was interested in the project, I was quite happy at the idea of painting a female I never met.
While I believe that Heather is a lovely girl, I don't really feel like I got to know her the same way because the entire experience turned into a three way conversation with Georgia. I don't think this is a problem in any way, but up until now, there's been a certain kind of magic that happens when I'm painting someone. It becomes a conversation without words, a poetry thats told in the body (and that people actually seem to care about). It's been an equal measure of comfort, relaxation, healing and a celebration of the unspoken people behind the paint. Adding a third person to the mix while enjoyable, does have a tendency to steal the thunder of the intimacy and can be detrimental to the piece itself.
I think I captured Heather quite well, especially considering the limited colour palate and the external influences. (Really Heather? Four purples?!) There is something very nice and magical about her though, and I hope to get to know her more in the future.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Matti Paints - Subject Kira

This is Kira
Pictured: Kira being pretty

Although me and Kira have not previously had a great deal of contact, she is someone who I’ve admired for a while now. I first saw her in the LOT production of Avenue Q, and ever since then I've been impressed by her talent and cool, casual attitude.
She has a cool, centered down to earth girl who I knew through a couple friends. My first impressions of her were very mixed because she is almost impossible to read. When I asked her to be a part of this project, I was almost surprised when she agreed, but I’m glad she did because I feel like I’ve really got to know her on a whole new level and I’ve really got to see her in a new light.

Kira is a very complex individual, but once I quickly realized how much we had in common I found our conversations becoming much more enjoyable. In a way she really reminded me of my experiences painting Marc. Her soul is very gentle, and she shares the same kiddish quality that I do. We both LOVE the muppets and Bowie, and she has a real dry wit about her which is similar to mine. She possesses a quiet confidence that matches her tremendous talent that I have long envied.
Green, blue, purple, orange and yellow

Surprisingly, I ended up using the least amount of paint on her. From the begining there was a very clear direction that I knew this painting would head in, and while there were multiple surprises like the kermit the frog decal on her neck, to the dna helix that happened almost by accident. I ended up putting a lot of details into her skin, and as a result I really think the paint job pops more than some of my other creations.
There is a geometric and analytical side to her, which melts into this curious and playful side which is why I focused a lot on the arm details. Overall, I’m very pleased with how the creation played out, and I think it does her tremendous spirit justice.

Song 1

Song "Oh my god Animaniacs... really? Awesome."

Song 4

Song 8
Presenting the luminescent Kira:

Matti Paints - Subject Jonna

Jonna is one of my oldest friends, and after many years apart, we were reunited in my hot and stuffy house in the middle of St. James Town in downtown Toronto. 
Pictured: Friendship.

When we met she was a dancer, and I was... also a dancer. But not a very good one. At least not by professional standards.
There are many high-school memories I have of Jonna. We would hang out in the theatre during lunch while the cool kids didn’t... I really don’t know what they ever did, but I’m pretty sure they never had as much fun as we did. 

Pictured: Fun.

Jonna is awesome. She always made me laugh and encouraged me to try things that I hadn’t done before. I always saw her as a Joan of Arc type character and that’s the feeling I wanted to give her here. Not necessarily a martyr exactly, but someone who is ambitious, exciting and personable. The personification of modern radical. (Catalyst reference anyone?)

Yellow, Orange, Green, Baby Blue and Purple

Her colours were colourful and harmonious like her, and her song choices while varied were inevitably fun. I mean she has “Call Me Maybe” by CRJ who I adore. 

Pictured: I love CRJ.
I loved her bright and captivating colour choices and couldn’t wait to work with them to create something unique and exciting. Her character is exciting and strong and I really think I captured that eccentric, goofy yet lovely earth-goddess sort of vibe encapsulates her. I wanted her to encapsulate the Joan-of-Arc type of character I see her as. 
As an interesting side note, I think every girl so far has chosen that neon green. Win? 

I’ve always had a soft spot for her, and I was thrilled to be reacquainted with my old friend in such a touching and unique way.
I really don’t know what else to say right now... Especially considering this is my 5th painting today. Just doing one can be exhausting so this is some kind of super challenge... but a good one. 

Presenting : Jonna

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Matti Paints - Subject Chad (2!)

Chad is a gentle soul.
He's a very close friend of mine which is funny considering it feels like we've known each other for much longer than I realized at first.
There are many similarities between Chad and the the other Chad I got to paint. Both are in Toronto, both are lawyers... I figured that alone was worth mentioning! But the fact that they both wanted to participate in this... I just find that amusing.
So here we are, I've just finished my 15th canvas and by now I'm starting to notice patterns. A lot of focus on blues and purples, a large amount of wavy lines, and lately I've developed the need to reflect certain traits about myself. However, as a whole, I'm finding more and more I can begin to work on things that at first I didn't think I could do. I've been working on patching- making the skin look more like patches held together by glue, or adding details to lines that before would look flat and uninteresting.

However, one thing I've noticed is that everyone who walks through these doors is usually put at ease pretty quickly. Within the first few strokes of the brush I could feel Chad relax, and as such I was able to create something unique and lovely. 
Overall, I'm quite happy with the results.
Presenting Chad, (The second):

Matti Paints- Subject Marc

After all that chaos came Marc.
Marc is a curious character. I know him from the coffee shop, and while I'd never say we were close, he always had a magnetic quality that I really liked and appreciated in him. He seemed really down to earth, and now after painting him, I quickly realized that it's not just a show. He really is just that down to earth. It's refreshing to meet people with a similar character to yours.
He's a very creative man, and the talks we had during the paint were interesting and surprisingly deep. I found with Marc, unlike a lot of the previous canvases, I found myself opening up more. It's not that my other conversations were hesitant or unwilling, I feel there was just an ease about this entire experience that I almost found refreshing.
I've done quite a few of these by now, and I found with Marc I almost fell into a routine. Offer a drink, pick the seat, get them comfortable, and so on and so forth. It's a nice change to feel so at ease with someone so quickly, but I found the talk came easily and the experience was quite enjoyable and friendly.
All about the earthy tones
I feel his colour choices reflected this nicely. Lots of subtle earthy colours that reflected his personality nicely. The green, reds and brown blended nicely with the blue and the gold gave it just enough pop without turning into a flashy mess.
His song choices while some might say leaned slightly on the emo side, were something I'd consider more pensive. It really showed a depth of character, especially when we'd had a lot of deep interesting talks throughout the piece. Every song seemed to bring up a new emotion and a new side of Marc. I enjoyed getting to know his multi-faceted personality.

Emo is Owl City

I found myself working with a symbol for the first time. Within the first few red brushstrokes I quickly realized I accidentally painted a maple leaf on his chest. Almost super hero like emblazed on his chest. I went with it, and soon also found that the ab section became something like a tree with roots reaching deep into the earth for sustenance.

Accidental maple leaf!

It was a really great experience. I thoroughly enjoyed Marc's company and think that I managed to create something really special.
So without further ado: Marc!

Matti Paints- Subject Georgia

This is my fabulous friend Georgia

She is fantastic. I love her. We've been friends for years ever since we were both going to school in North Bay as part of Canadore's theatre program. I knew if there was any woman who would be excited to do this project, it would probably be her.
I've drawn Georgia before, but this was my first time painting her in this way, and I have to say I think the experience was one of my favorites. Her song choices were interesting, and interestingly contrasted almost perfectly with her colour choices. While the colours were simple and bright, the songs were heavier and almost melancholic. In retrospect I'm surprised that they didn't have much more impact on the experience. I'm not sure why a heavy playlist played so heavily with our emotions when I painted Mark, and for this time to be so much more light hearted and whimsical. Maybe its our previous relationships, maybe it's that she's a girl, or maybe it's because of our shared experiences in the frozen North but this time there was something really light hearted about the whole experience.
The pink stands for "drag queen"
I was very impressed with Georgia's lack of inhibitions. So far she has been the only female to go nude and it's a very brave choice. It takes about a minute to be comfortable with each other when you're fully exposed, but it was a good experience none-the-less. Once we warmed up we found ourselves laughing and joking about the entire experience. There was something just... fun about it.

I'm really proud of her, and I  believe that we managed to create something magical.
I have to say there was something to be said for the simplicity of this piece. It's to the point, gentle, and I have to say has an air of beauty to it. I'm quite proud of this one as I feel it makes her look almost like a fish. I mean that in the best way.