Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Saint Sebastian

Saint Sebastian | Yeti Crafts

The call to artists for Larkin Arts' national juried show was the perfect opportunity to pull out this painting from a couple of years ago and give it a total overhaul. 

Saint Sebastian | Yeti Crafts
I was never happy with this version.  It hid shamefully in storage for the last two years.
Emperor Diocletian sentenced Saint Sebastian to death for practicing Christianity in 286. The Roman army tied him to a stake and shot arrows at him until, as a spectator described it, he looked like a sea urchin.  To the Romans' surprise, Sebastian survived and once he recovered, went back to the emperor to tell him what a dick move it was to murder Christians.  He was beaten to death and thrown in the sewers for his troubles.

I take two messages away from Sebastian's story - 1. the resiliency of a determined person is a truly remarkable thing and 2. Dedicate yourself completely to what you believe in.  To quote my favorite drunk misogynist (Bukowski), "Find what you love and let it kill you."

The white rabbit symbolizes creativity and good fortune for the Chinese, a warning against living in fear for the Native Americans, and a reminder not to fixate on schedules or people-pleasing for the inhabitants of Wonderland. All of these lessons are relevant to me currently.

I feel like most of the stuff I draw or paint doesn't have a ton of meaning behind it, but this guy pulls from my family history and pop culture background to say some things about how it feels to be me right now. I don't know if I had all these same things in mind two years ago when I tried (unsuccessfully) to paint this the first time.
Saint Sebastian | Yeti Crafts
Taking nail polish remover and a razor blade to this painting was extremely therapeutic.

Saint Sebastian | Yeti Crafts
The next step was revising the shape of the rabbit. 

Saint Sebastian | Yeti Crafts
Then I added fur, which was a lot more tedious than I'd imagined.  I have new respect for people who draw or paint animals on the regular.

Saint Sebastian | Yeti Crafts
Finally, I changed the roses and cleaned up the halo.  I learned that the only thing worse than not having enough glitter is having entirely too much of it.

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