Sometimes the right image/idea just doesn't manifest in my mind and I have learned (the hard way) to accept that I need to do a little more living/growing before I am ready to tackle that image/idea. I have tried in the past to force ideas and images into works with nearly uniformly disastrous results. Better to stop now before someone gets hurt.....
The underlying image for High Noon On The Streets Of Reason is an old piece that I have had around since 2005 (originally entitled, Elemental: Green and Orange with Purple Stitch). In fact, the image you see below is old enough to have come from a slide......Ooooda-Lolly!
Anyway, I performed a canvas-endectomy and remove the 'Purple Stitch' portion (which has been attached to a totally separate canvas which is currently languishing in an 'in-progress' pile in my studio) and added a different passage of imagery.
I even have the outline for for the Doodsworth figure, just not a satisfactory image of Mr. Doodsworth himself. So without an image I could get behind, the piece stayed in Limbo.
Another sticking point preventing progress was coming up with the concept of the frame. I wanted a blend of the Wild West (which was fairly straightforward) and something more modern. Tic-Toc. Tic-Toc. Tic-Toc. -nothing was forthcoming......
However, one of Heidi Hernandez's EX-CH-AN-GE pieces for Merican-Tastic!, Invaded Spaces, opened the conceptual door to complete the frame.
I had basically covered the piece with a series of people/bodies and some of the 'characters'/aliens from the classic late 1970s arcade game, Space Invaders. *Side note: A sizable portion of my quarter-based childhood income as an 8 and 9-year old kid went towards protecting the planet from invading aliens. I have since moved on to protecting us from an cheeseburger-based apocalypse (no need to thank me).
As sample of the bodies/space invaders/targets motif developed for Invaded Spaces being re-used for High Noon on The Streets Of Reason. This is the bottom frame before anything has been carved or the outer edge has even been cut/shaped.
During the new flutter of activity on drawing out the frame, I was able to develop/render an acceptable Mr. Doodsworth.
Underwhelming, eh? I said acceptable, not Earth-shattering.
Actually, that simple 'Doodsworth figure' illustrates a reoccurring frustration in art-making. I would say that it is something akin to 'writer's block'. Sometimes the lack of the right turn-of-phrase, or in the case of visual art, the proper image/color/texture/whatever can stop all forward progress. Typically, I circumvent this mental morass by working on several pieces/ideas concurrently. One of the benefits to this approach is if one piece/idea becomes troublesome, I hop over to another piece.
Time to start carving.
Letters/text. Not my favorite to carve....
The left side of the frame has been carved.
Laying down a base color for the figures.
Some more carving on the frames.
It occurs to me that I still need to develop a 'Mr. 6-Gun Baddie' character......hmmmm. Less than 2 months until 'Merican-Tastic! II: The Son of Tastic!' opens.