Art Entry with LONG photos, and a Resolution

I’m gonna slip this entry in before the end of 2010 so that I can make a resolution for 2011. When I was in the hospital, I had a lot of time to think. More than enough time, and with so little to distract me it was enough to get knocked just a little off my grasp of outside world reality, I spent quite a bit of it assessing my place in the world and what I want to say to the world. Anyway, while I’m not at all unhappy with the pop art stuff that I’ve spent the last couple years painting, I also became quite disillusioned that it’s trite. Devoid of any value or meaning beyond the aesthetic and perhaps a cheap joke or gag.

Let me drag out the very last painting in this increasingly shallow series. I’ll touch it up a little still but here you go. I had to patch it together from three photos because my 3D camera is pretty lame quality other than it’s ability to shatter zero-depth. Sorry that you’re going to have to wear out the scroll wheel on your mouse, but the canvas was a weird (read: deeply discounted) shape.

I have a couple of big canvases and pieces of wood sitting here waiting to be worked on. I did the rough sketches while I was in the hospital so I’m eager to get started when I can find the time. I’m going to rewind myself and pretend this whole pop art “phase” never happened, so you’re going to see some very different things from me painting-wise this upcoming year.

You may notice a few more skulls sitting on the speaker there. In the picture below from left to right, that’s natural beeswax, bleached beeswax, and white soy wax. As I said, I’m going to set up an Etsy-or-equivalent store soon and will be expanding this project as I take molds off more skulls. I’ll probably do some skull soaps as well with the smaller animal and infant skulls.

Finally, with her permission, I wanted to share the paintings that Nefarious and I did for Caitlin for Christmas. I made the frames by carving them out of a single piece of pine which I then stained and repeatedly varnished. While the varnish was wet, I lit it on fire (easy since it was technically an aerosol clear coat) and then let that burn out, and repeated that process a number of times before giving it a few thick coats of unburned glazing to soak into and smooth the charred zones. The images themselves are based on happy times that we’ve had together as a family (I think they’re both from our Costa Rica trip), and were first sketched by me, and then coloured with markers by Nefarious, and then touched up with paints by me. I’m not the best portraiture artist but I hope they bring her joy to look at.

Anyway, I am looking forward to 2011 being a much easier year than 2010, and I hope that being in less pain will allow me to tackle all the zillion projects I dream of undertaking and completing. I wish the best to everyone reading this, and I hope that you as well will fill every moment with what brings you joy and richness. I think Ghandi said something to the effect of “live as if you were to die tomorrow, and learn as if you were to live forever.” I’m going to try and keep on doing that.


  1. Heathre wrote:

    Hyvää Uutta Vuotta! I wish you well man. I haven’t read this book yet (it was recommended to me) called 101 Miracles of Natural Healing by Luke Chan. I don’t remember if I mentioned this website to you already, but is way cool and very inspiring.

    Friday, December 31, 2010 at 10:40 pm | Permalink
  2. rosie wrote:

    I’m looking forward to seeing what you will do next with your painting. I have tremendous respect for you in many ways but have really failed to connect with any of your paintings (those posted in recent years anyway) so I’m very interested in seeing and hopefully appreciating this evolution! I really admire your honest, open and fairly objective critique of the aforementioned works, by the way, and I wish more artists had the ability to see both the good and the bad in their own work. Good luck Shannon — you are a champion in so many ways.

    Saturday, January 1, 2011 at 5:26 am | Permalink
  3. starbadger wrote:

    thank you

    Saturday, January 1, 2011 at 7:35 am | Permalink
  4. maggy wrote:

    Aww, I love what you call your “pop art”, It made me feel happy when I looked at it. I don’t think my reaction could be caused by something that is trite and shallow, I thought it was beautiful.

    Saturday, January 1, 2011 at 7:46 am | Permalink
  5. Lisa wrote:

    Very inspiring, Shannon! Wishing you and your family all the best in 2011.

    Saturday, January 1, 2011 at 9:59 am | Permalink
  6. Twwly wrote:

    Love the little portraits.

    Saturday, January 1, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Permalink
  7. starbadger wrote:

    I am happy for you Shannon.

    I talked with KV – she sent me a tin of her homemade green ginger dark chocolates – you might consider getting her to send you a tin.

    As I said to her at conversation end – you (Shannon) make a believer

    not in the Sheeple God
    but in the blind watchmaker
    without whom there would be no progress and time would not have a direction

    i have no idea what the future
    will bring but i am so happy you are in it

    Saturday, January 1, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Permalink
  8. starbadger wrote:

    I see that you wrote

    “I’ve spent the last couple years painting, I also became quite disillusioned that it’s trite. Devoid of any value or meaning beyond the aesthetic and perhaps a cheap joke or gag.”

    Well I do not agree and you do have to pay your bills. The Art Aesthetic you have developed or evolved is approaching the option of commercial gain much as occurred long ago with BME

    As Ashly says

    “Love the little portraits.”

    to which I add
    an Art Critic could tell
    what you feel is fake from a forgery – you have arrived – no need to sign your paintings


    It’s your year to howl however you want

    :) :) :)

    Sunday, January 2, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Permalink
  9. dAN wrote:

    hi Shannon, I found your site after googling “Toronto Dpt of Zombie Disposal”.

    My daughter Lily met your daughter in High Park during our first weekend in Toronto (we moved here from the UK in September). They hit it off straightaway when they discovered they’re both vegetarian & atheist, and I was impressed that they had discussed such fundamentals after about 5 minutes playing together!

    I’m glad I found your site and if we see you in the park again I’ll say hi.

    All the best for 2011, Dan

    Monday, January 3, 2011 at 10:01 am | Permalink
  10. peteD3 wrote:

    welcome back!

    i always liked that painting style you have, but im looking forward to what you do next!!


    Monday, January 3, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Permalink
  11. Steph wrote:

    Shannon I too love your “pop” art. It’s creative, vibrant, silly and fun!
    Although I have to admit, I am very curious to see what you come up with next!

    Monday, January 3, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

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  1. [...] just realized this may be my first true self-portrait since high school, although I guess the paintings that I made for Caitlin for Christmas sort of count, but it’s not the same thing. I’d say this is a self-portrait in the [...]

Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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