Channeling 8-year-old me in my art
For the past year or so I have been experimenting with painting cigar boxes. My first attempts were all boxes which were painted white and then had abstract designs painted on them.
Originally, I planned to paint all of the cigar boxes white and then do the abstract designs on them. However, the boxes from the Acid line of cigars from Drew Estate were such pretty boxes with minimal stickers on them that I decided I would try to incorporate the beauty of the wood into the box.
The first work with the Acid box still used the abstract designs in a rather busy pattern.
However, the next work which I did was far more simple and used minimal lines combined with the beauty of the wood.
I am happy with each of these design types, however I started looking at the large stack of cigar boxes which I have. Many have intricated designs on the boxes and many stickers, quite the opposite of the Drew Estate Acid boxes. I started to think that maybe I would like to use the personality of each box as the starting point for the painting and then build from there. Once I started thinking about this, I did what I often do when I come up with an artistic idea. I texted my artist friend Rhoda to see what her thoughts were on the matter. Rhoda agreed that using the personality of the cigar boxes would be fun and she encouraged me to do so. Enough said.
The first box which I decided to paint using its personality as the starting point for the box was for a cigar called Guerilla Warfare. As I thought about this box I began to remember the army war scenes I would draw in my notebooks when I was young and bored at school. I decided to use a similar design when painting part of the box. The other parts of the box would have soldiers smoking cigars. The painting of this box was more play than work and I am happy with how it turned out for many reasons. First it allowed me to reconnect with the young boy who I once was who loved to draw army war scenes. That young boy would draw all day long in school without worrying if what I drew was good enough and would pass other’s critique. He drew simply because he loved to draw and because it was fun. Second it is far more lose and unconstructed than most art that I do. I primarily paint Byzantine Icons and icons are the very definition of constructed art. And finally, along with being happy with the final product, I had a lot of fun doing this box.
PSSITA = Put some smoke in the air
BOTL/SOTL = Brother of the leaf/Sister of the leaf, an affectionate term for fellow cigar smokers