Remix #6

I found these framed prints of American artist Warren Kimble at the thrift store, and bought them to use for a new painting of Aspen trees.  I decided to not entirely cover them up, instead to incorporate my painting into his. I hang one of the frames right side up, the other upside down, to mess with the viewers perception. The Aspen trees I painted have Cytospora Cankers and Saperda Calcarata  (wood boring insects) on them. These insects are parasitic and eventually can kill the tree. The sap of the tree leaks out of the wound, resembling blood.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Warren Kimble Aspen Remix 12x24

Remix #5

I found this Monet print, framed, in the thrift store for .99. I bought it, initially to only use the frame, and decided to put a modern spin on a classic painting. The idea is very literal; a drone, dousing a field in chemical warfare, most likely agent orange. The elegant women walking with parasols are being drenched in the chemicals, Bob's your uncle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Monet and the Drone 6x8

remix #4..

                     original Camelia painting

表裏一体 (19x38) HYORI ITTAI (two sides of the same coin). This painting of a camellia bush was originally on a very old Japanese frame/paper. Every time I touched it, or a breeze caught its frail paper, a piece of it would fall off onto the floor. This drove me crazy as I was literally watching my painting disintegrate. I decided to incorporate this process into the meaning of the painting by painting a Samurai sword slicing into it. Life and death are inseparable. Another interesting point, at least in my opinion, is the manner in which Camellia flowers die. Rather than slowly losing their petals one by one, the entire flower just falls off, similar to a head being decapitated. This is called "kubi-kiri" in Japanese, or neck cut.

remix #3

This was originally a print from my southwestern flora and fauna series, titled "Ladybugs". I made a print of it which came out too large, so I decided to paint over parts of it to take the attention away from disproportionate size of the succulent branch and ladybugs. I had no plan for how to go about doing this, but every morning on my way to get coffee before painting I'd notice all kinds of interesting things growing in, on, and around other succulents that inspired me. This usually resulted in me taking a photo, or an inconspicuous breaking of a branch, then returning to my studio to work my fresh find into the piece. Items found are as follows; 1 barbie doll, pine needles, multiple jade plant clippings, and all kinds of creepy crawlers. This process continued for several weeks before I could recognize any theme in the painting, but eventually a sense of cohesion appeared. Connectedness, the connections that facilitate all life. It's created by bridging gaps using various materials, both natural and artificial, physical and emotional. In nature we see limbs, branches, legs, webs, needles etc. to accomplish this. With people there are similar physical connections, now we also use various kinds of social media to achieve essentially the same thing.  Sometimes these connections benefit our lives, other times inhibit, damage, and ultimately end our lives. The bottom line is we are all connected, and no mater how thin or weak these connections may be, we still affect and are affected by what we are connected to. While we may not be able to chose what connects to us, we can certainly do our best to connect with that which will enhance our lives. 

                                     orignal Ladybugs 10x14

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    remixed Ladybugs, 12x16

remix #2

                      original building, Hanoi

The idea here is very literal. I ordered a print of this painting for a customer, but for some reason when I proofed the print the colors were a bit faint in a few places. I reordered the print with the appropriate adjustments, sent it off, then had this extra print laying around with no purpose. I was considering just painting over the whole canvas and starting a new painting entirely, but figured I might as well salvage the parts I could and simply paint over the flaws. I chose bougainvillea to cover the flawed building wall, as well as a tiny street cat to cover another imperfection. When it was all said and done the remixed painting had more life than the original, and it stays true to the essence of Hanoi, VN, as there are both bougainvillea and street cats galore. Both prints and the original of this remix are for sale if you're interested. Hope you enjoy it. CJ

                                                                                                                                                                         REMIX building, Hanoi (20x26)       

remix #1..

 The original piece, titled "ichigo ichie" (shown to the right) was a present for my sister. It's of a rose from my mothers garden in San Diego, with a butterfly in flight and a dragonfly on a leaf. The Chinese kanji "ICHIGO ICHIE" (painted in the lower right corner) means "once in a lifetime." This expression is often used in appreciation of the moment. Similar to the expressions; "stop and smell the roses" and also "carpe-diem".

Now, in the remix of this painting, I wanted to add elements representative of death to balance the inherent life of the original piece. The reason for this being that in any one moment, there is both life and death occurring simultaneously. To focus on one, without the other, would be depicting a rare, if not fictitious, sense of reality. Which brings us to the second Chinese character painted (above my stamp) onto the remix; Shogyo Mujo. This is a Buddhist idea which means; all things change, nothing is permanent. All things are transitional and have no separate existence.

In addition to the skeleton hand holding the rose, there are also two ladybugs and one spider hanging just beneath the lower rose. 

                                                                                                 ICHIGO ICHIE meets SHOGYO MUJO

I have prints available (purchase) of this remix if you're interested. As per all of my pieces, there is a limited print count of twenty five. 

                 original ICHIGO ICHIE painting.

the REMIX idea.

March 1, 2014

                     Original "Dodder" painting. (43x53)

What I'm working on recently is "remixing" my finished paintings by painting new elements onto their prints. My aim in doing so is twofold; alter the aesthetic and message of the original painting. 

For example, during my recent stay in Hanoi, Vietnam, I painted a piece titled Dodder (shown to the right). The painting is of a parasitic vine named "cuscuta japonica" which attaches itself to a "host" tree and spreads very quickly. It can grow several inches a day,  and can move rapidly from plant to plant with the help of abundant seeds, water, and birds. When this parasite attaches itself to its host tree or plant, it begins to suck water, minerals, and carbohydrates – everything it needs for life – ultimately killing its host and then moving on.

Now, what I'm painting onto a full size print of this is a war scene consisting of helicopters and troops essentially invading the painting itself.  Here's a couple pictures below;

                                             This is painted on the upper right corner of the original painting. 

                                                  Painted on the center left of the original painting. 

The idea behind this remix being that everything in life seems to be in a constant state of either invading or being invaded. Sometimes this is slow and subtle, as with plants, other times fast and abrasive, as with war. Nothing stays the same for too long. 

This painting is not finished yet, I just wanted to share what I've thinking about and working on recently. It's very fun for me to paint over my paintings like this, as it allows a sense of creative freedom that I do not necessarily feel when painting the original piece. I hope you enjoy them. Any comments and or feedback are always welcome.