It all started with a seedling: my love for nature and the interest in pop culture, particularly the horror and comedy genre. I was born in the early 80s so from that point on is what really influences me still to this day. Let me take you back to this one day there was a “total eclipse of the sun…” Well, really it just started from my pencil put to paper while watching the movie The Little Shop of Horrors. At some point it was brought to my attention that there was an alternate ending to the movie, which, in fact, turned out to be the original ending that followed along with the musical. I had never seen the musical play so I was completely missing out. A quick search on youtube and I found it was a way better ending than I had imagined. If you haven’t seen it, SPOILER ALERT, the plant takes over and wins in the end. My imagination ran wild with visions of “NEW BREEDS” of Audrey II plants taking over the Earth. I even began to imagine what their own planet would look like. I gathered some reference shots and began drawing the carnivorous plant in my sketchbook in various concepts. It then transitioned into acrylic paintings and even watercolor and ink. My obsession had gone so far as to finally envisioning the best tattoo ever to represent me and my children. What better way to permanently imprint on my body a family representation of a Mean Green Mother from outer space and her 3 little bud plants as seen in the movie. Well now that is just a little side story to add to my obsession with the alien plant.
So I continued to obsess over what variations I could create with the little venus fly trap. I researched other carnivorous plants that exist and considered other movie references for interesting mashups. One example would be my “Murky Woods” painting where you will find Predator skulls. The idea behind this was that, obviously, the plant wins in this mashup. I also took the ritual concept that Predator wore a necklace of skulls to represent its kills. In my painting, the plant keeps the necklace, wears one of its own, and keeps a couple of Predator skulls to represent its success. I placed the theme in a dark murky setting to provide a humid and dark place for my plant to strive. It just so happens the Predator entered upon the wrong woods unbeknownst as to what lurked in the shadows. I cannot show an illustration for this painting because I went straight to canvas with it. Just a practice that I throw in to improve upon my painting skills.
My mashup concepts continued with “Stagnation Burdens the Soul.” This painting is very dark because of the internal conflicts I was experiencing at the time of its creation as well as its predecessor “Murky Woods”. The plant shows an internal glow to represent the light that still lives within myself. The plant itself was a combination concept of the pitcher plant or Sarracenia species, the Venus Fly Trap or Dionaea, and the Drosera species. The Drosera carnivorous plants have little sticky tentacles that hold sweet dew drops to lure their prey. I came across one version that has long leaves that when an insect touches the tentacles it curls up over the insect and the sweet nectar begins to break down its prey. So in my painting I included this wonderful idea mother nature had designed. My plant, as many others in this world, may be stagnate in its existence, but once it captures its prey its soul comes alive and begins to glow. This was a representation of how a stage of stagnation in my life can create such a burden on my soul. I find myself in similar situations that takes a long time to get out of and these are my moments of stagnation. As an artist I need to keep a constant flow of creation. So all it takes to revive myself after a stale period of time, is a prey of some kind. It can be a positive or negative influence, doesn’t matter, so long as it ignites that glow within that pushes me to move and flow with creativity during these stages of my life.