Friday, March 15, 2013

My Valerie Project- Painting 4 (Valerie)

Here is the fourth and final painting from my Valerie series.

"Valerie", 2013

20" x 24", oil on canvas

And here is a detail.

And here is a trailer for the film these paintings are based on.

I found out when I started this painting series based on Valerie and Her Week of Wonders that there is a band called "The Valerie Project". The Valerie Project is an American psyche-folk band that made a whole album meant to be an alternative soundtrack to the film. The band went on tour from 2006 to 2008 and performed live at public screenings of the movie.

Start the album and the movie at the same time with the sound to the film turned off.

Members of The Valerie Project talk about their love of Valerie and Her Week of Wonders on an extras portion of a recent DVD release of the film called "Valerieholics".

Thursday, March 14, 2013

My Valerie Project- Painting 3 (Tchoř)

The third painting in my series based on the Czech film Valerie and Her Week of Wonders is of one of the most confusing characters in the movie. He is the evil shape-shifting figure that is referred to as "Monster" or "Weasel" throughout the film. The literal translation of the word "Tchoř", the name he is referred to most often, is polecat, not weasel, although a polecat is a large species of weasel. The ghoulish "Monster", who stalks the 13 year-old Valerie throughout the film often shape-shifts into a polecat to feed on the blood of chickens on the little farms in the village where Valerie lives. To make matters more confusing Tchoř may also be Valerie's real father, and the mysterious priest at Valerie's church who paints his face dark blue and gives sermons on the importance of chastity to young women. Weasel is often seen covered in a dark robe and carrying his little pet Maltese.

Pop goes the Weasel.

"Tchoř", 2013

20" x 24", oil on canvas

Come on everyone. Practice saying the word tchoř with me here.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My Valerie Project- Painting 2 (Rusovláska)

In painting two of my Valerie series, Valerie's granny drinks the blood of a newly wedded woman and turns into Valerie's Aunt Elsa, a seductive redheaded vampire.

"Rusovláska", 2013

20" x 24", oil on canvas

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My Valerie Project- Painting 1 (Babička)

I recently decided to do a series of paintings based on the Czech surreal horror film, Valerie and Her Week of Wonders. Valerie and Her Week of Wonders is a trippy coming of age story that features magical earrings, vampires, horny priests, witchcraft, the walking dead and people with multiple identities. A classic of Czech New Wave cinema, it's equal parts baroque fairytale and gothic horror. Past merges with present and people switch identities throughout the film, so the plot can be hard to follow. After viewing the film several times, I found it's best to take Valerie as a series of allegorical images and forget about trying to make sense out of it.

Anyway, I like the film enough, but this "Valerie Project" of mine is a very recent idea that came to me suddenly and interrupted other ideas for paintings I've had on my mind. Last month at an art supply store I saw four oval canvases. I've never painted on an oval canvas before, but when I saw these oval canvases I knew what I would paint on them. "Babička" was my initial idea. And after her I knew I had to do other characters from Valerie on the other three. Maybe the vidcap below with the oval portrait on the wall behind Valerie's ghastly granny explains how the idea for my oval portrait series came to me subliminally.

And here's Valerie's granny:

"Babička", 2013

20" x 24", oil on canvas

And a detail: