In the Studio #42

Well I finally finished my painting Pilot #6 last week and I’m now varnishing the work. It has been an emotional process, painting this piece, and I’m relieved that its finished. This work has been nothing but challenges for me from the construction of the frame – its a little warped – to the composition itself. I had the idea of this painting about 7 or 8 years ago when I thought of the idea of the Pilot set. The 6th and 7th work of the set were meant to be battle sequences, paintings that showed my fanciful airships displaying their special attacks. This particular piece was meant to show my airship and my ballerina pilots powering-up while the next piece will show both pilot and airship in the middle of an attack.

The challenge of this series at this point is keeping all the elements and motifs of the story consistent from painting to painting while displaying something new in each work. In the case of this painting the chief design element is a diamond pattern which is also on display in each Pilot set painting. This diamond pattern in Pilot 6 is very prominent, perhaps too much so, and all other visual elements in the paining orbits this diamond. Other that this large design element other motifs in the work include my divas. Two versions of Chaka Khan. A dragon also appears along with angels, lions, a mermaid and two airplanes dragging avatars of John C Robinson and Felisha Rexford. Here’s Pilot 6 all finished:

Well maybe not quite finished. I  came into the studio on Tuesday this week and noticed the spotlight section of the painting and thought the symbol – a drawing of my queen-goddess character in my personal hermetic universe – was not quite working for me. And so I changed the symbol to a Thundercats emblem like on the Sword of Omens that my two Chaka Khans are wielding.  Here’s the updated version of the painting:

As I have said before, painting this piece was an emotional journey for me. I mentioned in previous posts that painting these large works forces me to ask some obvious logistical questions right away. Questions like, where am I going to store this monster work; and,  whose gonna buy this gigantic piece. While the making of these pieces is essentially paid for by the grants I’ve received, I’m not certain if it was right for me to take on this challenge at this point in my career. Large works bring headaches. Nevertheless, their fun to do. I’ve trusted the fates in the past that they (my large works) would find a home and I believe these Pilot painting will find good homes too.

I’m still into a soul and R&B mode lately and so today I thought I might share some Teddy Pendergrass, and old favorite of my moms. Here’s “Turn off the Lights”.


Okay that’s it for this post. I’ll be working on the large drawing for Pilot 7 next and so I think I’ll blog about my progress on that piece next time. Until then do be well.

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