The contractor is represented by the hammer. The red devil in the champagne flute is my horney fantasies. Note the gold, glittery stiletto heels (I got them for 10 cents at a garage sale). Everybody asks me about the big, black, hair bug in the foreground. He's the Horrible Fear of Rejection. I laid this setup on a white sheet which reflected the colored lights of the owl yard lights. They're the only light source in this painting, giving the whole scene a surreal, carnival-like atmosphere. My life felt like a surreal carnival at that point. It took several tries to figure out how to achieve a glowing effect on the owls. For one thing, the background had to be painted dark enough to provide a contrast to the glowing lights. And have you ever tried to make a clear, glowing red by adding white to red paint? That only ends up as a grayish, muddy pink. What worked, I finally found, was to paint the owls in titanium white and leave them dry. Then I gave them very thin glazes of pure color.
Friends were in my house last weekend and saw this painting, which I'd nearly forgotten about. It had won a cover painting contest by an "arty" magazine here in Detroit, back in 1994. Seeing it again reminded me of how much I enjoy doing wild still lifes. Hmmm.... where'd I put that purple garden gazing globe?