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The Journey of the Burning Man

Blogs: #7 of 17

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The Journey of the Burning Man

Of the artwork I've done, "The Burning Man" has been perhaps one of the most interesting journeys I've taken in some time. It's one of those pieces that I'm amazed I ended up where I have AND pleased with the final outcome.

I started with the idea of playing around with all these texture elements I had collected over the past few months and re-use them to create something totally different. Sounded simple enough. The last abstract I did "Sheol" I thought came out nicely. I decided to go with a more relaxing color: Green. I spent an hour and in the end was quite bored with what I was doing. It just was, well, blah. I thought that I could maybe take what I've done so far and incorporate it into something later. Perhaps the FAA contest page had an idea.

I found what I was looking for: Create a painting inspired by a dry desert scene as directed in this weeks FAA contest. Admittedly I've been getting a few of my ideas from the contest page (I like the challenge). The textures of the "blah" painting could be used for a desert scene.

I started working with the concept of this wide dry desert with just one (or two) elements...perhaps just a rock and a shadow. In doing research I came across some pictures of "The Burning Man Event". Interesting, I thought. I added that into the background and quickly realized that there was something to this, something primeval. I chucked the aforementioned desert idea for this new burning stick figure.

I worked for another few hours, but found that although the new idea was definitely the right direction, it was now too dark and to stiff. There was no movement. Something was still missing.

I decided to do some research on the Burning Man Event to see what it was really all about. Although judging from a lot of the picture, there was still a hedonistic quality to the event, I did find that the idea of the event seemed to be, originally that is, about artistic freedom of expression. This I like. It seemed that this is what I was missing. The painting had to reflect freedom, joy, and yes, perhaps some hedonistic abandonment as well.

After working on the Burning Man for another hour or so, I've ended with what you see here: A dance of light across the desert floor. There is something savage about it now, and yet I find it to also be peaceful. I take no credit to this. Once again, the art has found its own life and just took me along for the ride.

One final comment: For any of you who have actually been to a Burning Man Event, I do not claim to fully understand what it is all about. I simply did some research and came away with some inspiration.