We took a break from Thousand Oaks to visit LACMA, which has turned into a magnificent art museum since the building of two huge new buildings showing touring exhibits and standing collections. I loved visiting the Olmec sculpture exhibit, where I was instantly transformed into an awestruck schoolboy gazing in wonder at two gigantic basalt heads dating from a millennium before Christ.
A collection of nineteenth century clothing was inspiring, particularly an extraordinarily embroidered jacket and an excellent black suit that I’d wear in a heartbeat. I found a few costume pieces including some gloves, an interesting decorativeÂ laceÂ border and a dress that might be useful for painting reference, duly photographed and stowed away in my ever-growing photo archive.
Although I particularly liked the gloved hand that you see here as a resource for a costume in one of my paintings, I want to be a little circumspect about using nineteenth century clothing in the work – I want to continue painting people that could be from the present although their surroundings and actions may be universal.
I enjoyed finding old Hermes standing amongst the old master paintings. He’s wearing a winged helmet that oddly resembles those worn in World War One by the British infantry.