Sunday, April 11, 2010

the underground garden art piece

i'm taking part in a collaborative art project called "the underground garden," put together by local musician blake jones. it goes hand in hand with the release of the newest album from blake jones & the trike shop.

basically, each artist (there are a ton) are being given a 12"x12" piece of plywood to work with. the prompt is to think about how the local art/music scene is reflected by the idea of an underground garden.

here is my unfinished piece - it's due back to blake by 4/19.

admittedly, this is a crap picture. for whatever reason, i couldn't get a clear picture of the piece. i think it's because of the smearing i used. the piece is done in oil pastels, something i haven't used in a long time. i enjoyed working with them again, and so maybe there is an element of rebirth in it for me. i wanted to use a tree, a common symbol of life to be a symbol, or reflection of the growing arts and music culture in fresno. in the piece you see fruit of different valley plants (grapes, oranges, cotton, strawberries, all coming from the same tree, the same soil. but, this is also a take on the actual underground gardens, where there are fruit grafted onto other trees and so you have a tree that produces multiple fruits. fresno's art & music culture is beginning to bear fruit. it also comes from different branches. in the piece, there are 4 main branches, but this is more symbolic, as there are more than four branches, and more than four types of fruit being born here.

i'm more or less done with piece, i want it to be a quick reaction based on the inspiration.k it's not something i want to work and work and work on. that's not a reflection of the fresno art & music scene, just me & this piece. i'll be adding a polyurethane coat over the top to seal the pastels, and to give is some depth & shine.

the whole collective piece will be unveiled on april 24th at audie's olympic.

(cross posted at artbyedwardstewart)


m.wise said...

the explanation was very helpful, especially with the difficult picture. does an explanation get turned in with the piece?

Justin said...

Isn't there some sort of Strawberry tree at the Forestier underground garden...and a tour guide that LOVES Jay

blake said...

This is only the second piece I've got a glimpse of-- I think there's fifteen[!] promised. It'll be cool to see everyone's take on the idea. My guess is that themes will run through and be common to many of the pieces and that each piece (though worked on independently) will sort of shine light on the others.....ha! I am the optimist!
Anyhow it comes out---it'll be a fascinating end result. Did you say you'll be out of town for the big party?(I'm hoping to get a photo of the artists with the work...may be some photoshopping will be called for!)

edluv said...

i'm pretty sure that there was a strawberry tree.

sadly, yes, i am one of the people that can't make it to the actual event.

blake said...

I linked your post over at

Yeah, I'm just an upstart-newbie blogger, but if you haven't visited the site yet, pop on by and say 'hi'.