Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Janis Joplin portrait for the "Black Butterfly" series, charcoal on mylar, 24 x 16" from a photo by Bob Seidemann. The wings are from a "Mother of Pearl" butterfly, and the background is inspired by Janis's song "Half Moon" - here pictured as the waning moon.
Lyrics: "Half moon, night time sky, Seven stars, Heaven’s eyes"
I watched many Youtube videos and bios while creating this. "Pearl" packed so much living into 27 years, and her death was a great loss to the music scene.
In the "Black Butterfly" works, butterflies represent the artist's muse, and my subjects are always those who are involved in the creative arts; musicians, actors, poets, or visual artists. I’m currently using pop figures or artistic friends I’ve met in person or on the internet as models, incorporating classical subjects from literature, or Gods and Goddesses from various cultures in addition to the butterfly/muse theme. I'm interested in the idea of the ways the artist’s muse and gifts can also have negative effects on the ego, and of course the butterfly metaphor of death and transformation is a strong element in this piece.