The painting takes it's title form a Wilco song, "Theologians", the title is "A Ghost is Born". I was listening to the song and thinking about all kinds of existential ideas, and I knew I wanted a lion and a magician in the painting. Here are a few books from my library that got me going. Audubon's Mammals, "Tricks and Illusions", and of course Erte´ for the graphic awesomeness.
This one is from the Audubon book, no actual lions, but he does great snarly mammalian mouths. Gosh, is he eating a dead bird? I can't believe I just noticed that!
Here is my snarly mammal, sans bird of course.
This is a gorgeous illustration from the Erte´ book. I love these long icicle things and that weird snow queen. What kind of absinthe was he drinking I wonder?
And here is my version of the icicles on the edge of the painting:
And finally, my magician reference, mainly for the outfit and wand. I tried many versions of a magician man, but I was not satisfied with my man faces.
then this onion-headed thing sort of demanded to be a part of the whole thing, so I complied. I don't know if he is a wrapped candy or what, but you know, alchemy is mysterious business. I don't question the muse, I am merely an instrument.
And finally, the almost finished painting with all the bits put together. It's a bit Narnial, don't you think?
Thanks for visiting, until next time curious art lovers! And if you want to see this painting in person, it will be hanging out at the Art basel fair in Miami Florida this December. Come and visit it if you are going!