"Impossible Things Before Breakfast" - oil on cradled wood panel, 18 x 24 x .75. Ready to hang. Available here and at Artfinder.
Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.” “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” - Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Oh, let's DO believe in impossible things!
On our bookshelf here at home sits a growing collection of science fiction. Some as old as 1950, others as recent as 2022. When you read a span 70+ years of futuristic imaginings, it is easy to see how many of these "impossibilities" are now quite real.
As artists, writers and creators, we are charged with the mission of imagining the impossible, the improbable, the unlikely and the peculiar. Whether it is Alice in her best insectoid tea-serving form or the unsettling emotions of being human captured and rendered into a treasure of experience and deep beauty, or the landscape of a hidden mountain pass covered in mist and made magical for those who may never get to place two feet in that place - we carve a path in the human continuum that makes space for the unlikely to blossom into existence. Whoa.
Click on the image to link to the video
Here's a link to a 1960's BBC version of Alice In Wonderland. Mary Jean St Clair, the granddaughter of Alice Liddell, had a lot of concerns about this rendition. As a descendant of the girl who inspired Lewis Carroll's story. she worried that "the film would make her grandmother ‘appear into some sort of strange person’ when ‘[s]he was not’. The BBC version was not intended for children, and doesn't even use costumes! I admit to not having watched it in its entirety. But I am fascinate by this very peculiar version of Alice.
About the art: beginning with a wood panel with a very smooth surface treatment (almost as slippery as Yupo) and adding layers of dark, liquin- thinned oil paint. Moving the paint with a large rubber wedge to create a spider-web effect in the background and letting the darkness fade into the bright foreground. A rough sketch of "Alice" with thinned paint, then off to the races in creating this quirky piece. Final details with a small brush.
The AI bot and I are now on the same page about Alice. Together we are well down the rabbit hole of peculiarity and improbable Alices. It is absolutely delicious.