Recently we have been reaquainted with some old friends and we have been spending a lot of time together. The kids play, we hang out and talk crap. You know, it's fun.
Anyway, in their lounge they have this gorgeous poster of the Queen with a moko by Barry Ross and it got me thinking, what is it about the familiar, the pop, the iconic that is so appealing? I think Andy Warhol was on to something when he kept painting things people already felt like they knew. The image kind of already belongs (it commemorates Waitangi Day - do you know it?) and with familiar imagery there is no getting used to each other period which is what happens with most new items of furniture, decor or art. It's kind of like a long lost friend.
Anyway, along with being re-aquainted with old friends and coming home to New Plymouth (the mountain gives me goosies) we have also rekindled our love of things vintage and my op-shopping passion has been fed with SO many great thrift stores here! Then there is the fact that I can't have it all, so I am often armed with my camera (phone) and I take snaps of vintage fabrics that I want but can't have, (but might go back for) of furniture that I might need to hire a trailer for and of all sorts of other 'things' - and these things all just kind of swirl around in my head - and maybe they meet and greet and get acquainted while I am sleeping because I am not conscious of the connections and then I sit down to draw and something cool pops out.
Then today I was thinking about nostalgic things and about New Zealand as an icon of all things kiwi and native and things that we love. I was thinking about the Queen with moko print too but I didn't want to appropriate Barry Ross' work, (or the moko!) yet I did want to 'have a go' at painting the Queen in a New Zealand context just for fun.
Anyway, this is the result. I've called her 'Queenie with Kowhai' and she is a bit lovely. In the background is my version of some gorgeous vintage fabric on my new chairs (currently in our bedroom) and in the foreground is a negative space study from my archives that I have turned into a latticey/lace dress. I have added other 'digital remnants' from my drawing files and then I drew a kowhai earring, because botanical earrings with New Zealand themes are very cool and I have my eye on some neat contemporary jewellery at the moment (have you seen Kiri Schumacher's work? She is amazing) and then I just kind of played with paint (digitally) and colour and added some vintage flowers from the rug that is currently underneath my desk (I designed it too so it is mine to take from) and suddenly there is this new lovely print - and here is my strange little story about how it all happens in my head.
It's never meant to be linear, is it? Life, I mean. It's kind of squiggly and round abouty, but either way and whichever way you come to a final conclusion, there is always a beautiful little story somewhere.
So here she is, Queenie with Kowhai. She is about a homecoming for me.
I hope you love her as much as I do.