I’ve written here before about what I’ve called subconscious referencing – when I paint something “from imagination” but find later that I’ve drawn the image from a memory – usually a pop culture image from my childhood or youth.
I made these two paintings (above) this year, improvising the content “from imagination”. I wrote about that process here. However, today I found this old drawing in my archives. I drew this in 1997 when I was sixteen years old. The similarities are obvious: the female figure positioned on the left, leaning her weight onto her right arm, facing the viewer eye-to-eye; the exaggerated spherical breasts; and in the background, potted palms with flat brittle looking leaves.
This drawing was also “from imagination”, apart from the scooter which was drawn from a photograph. I remember drawing women of this type and in this way, influenced by Richard Williams’ design of Jessica Rabbit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), and by a small book of postcards drawn by Tom of Finland. For sure these drawings were also an outlet for the repressed transgenderism I described here.
Seeing this drawing again, and comparing it to the recent paintings (above), I’m most struck by the palm trees. I thought that palms, drawn in that way, were something I just started doing this year. It surprises me to see that I also drew them nearly twenty years ago, looking very similar and performing the same compositional role.