I have a thing for dark humor. The painting below is my final watercolor piece of the fall semester, 2010. Our assignment was to do a painting where the main subject matter is an egg. That was the only requirement; other than containing an egg, the painting could be about whatever we wanted. Several ideas ran through my head such as making eggs into War-of-the-Worlds style spaceships destroying a city. Or two eggs in bathing suits sitting on a mini beach. I thought of egg-growing-trees and eggs as houses. But no matter what I came up with, the eggs were almost always somehow comedic. You can’t really replace humans or machines with eggs and expect the painting to be serious. I knew that whatever I painted, it was going to have some humor in it.
So I went for a juxtaposition of humor and some violent tragedy. Dark humor.
I decided to paint a domestic situation. Some terrible, spontaneous homicide where one egg is shot point blank in a vintage living room. If this were an illustration where the people were the subject, I’m sure it would be a very unpleasant painting. But because the protagonists are eggs…the whole thing just seems a little silly. I chose to put the eggs in a well-coordinated vintage living room because I thought that it added to the humor. That green striped wall paper is quirky, cheesy, and reminiscent of your grandmother’s house. I watch a lot of Investigation Discovery; that’s the channel with all of the murder mystery shows where decades old murders are dramatized and analyzed. All of those shows take place from the 50’s to the 70’s. An age of wallpaper in my mind. I definitely drew from my memory of those shows to construct this living room. It just seemed appropriate.
If you look closely, all of the would-be humans are eggs. Even those in the picture frames.
Shooting reference for this painting was very interesting. Thank goodness I have linoleum floors! I spent a good hour dropping and throwing eggs at my floor from a height of four-feet, and taking pictures of the carnage. And I spent another hour cleaning up….. I also built a miniature living room inside of a shoe box so that I could position the whole and broken eggs inside of it to draw from.
I wanted a challenge for this last painting, so I painted it on hot-press watercolor paper.