03/07/2004: "28 Days Later"
I watched the movie 28 Days Later last night and I LOVED it. It has this Irish actor I've never seen in anything before, his name is Cillian Murphy and I have to say he is the most beautiful man I think I've ever seen. And he's not just beautiful either, he a compelling actor with a great Irish accent.
I was going to take today off from painting, get some bills paid, do laundry, that kind of thing, but instead I watched the movie on DVD three or four times all the way through, pausing and zooming in on Cillian (who played a character named Jim) trying to find the ideal pose, lighting etc. to paint him in. I became obsessed with finding the exact right frame to paint, but I found about 20 that I loved; that's why it took so long to decide. Finally I decided on one with very dramatic lighting that emphasized his amazing eyes and lips. As an artist I am facinated with his face in a way that I can't ever remember feeling before. His face is so expressive, even in the smallest details.
The painting turned out OK, although it's not finished yet. It got a little muddy towards the end because I couldn't seem to put it down. I'm going to wait until it drys and then go back over it again to smooth things out and add some more highlights.
Right now my hands are all crippled up from not taking any breaks for 5 hours straight. I love doing paintings from movies. I think I'm going to do several more paintings from 28 Days Later but I need to buy more canvases since these won't really fit in with the show I'm doing for July and I only had enough canvases for that. The last movie I felt this inspired by (painting wise) was Birdy...maybe 12 or 13 years ago. Ironically that was also over Spring Break while I was attending college and I was staying in the dorm alone and I had rented Birdy and watched it over and over again and painted maybe 10 different paintings from it. One of my favorite was of Mathew Modine's character lying on his side in his aviary in the moonlight there are shadows of his birds over his naked body.
Another film that made me go on an extended obsessive painting spree was called "Before the Rain". I really wish that I had taken slides of all of the paintings I've done over the years. Half of them I have no idea where they even are today. One time I went to a friend's house I hadn't seen in years and she had all of these paintings of mine hanging up in her house. They were awful, one's I'd done for assignments as a freshman in my first oil painting class. I forgot that when I'd gone to toss them she'd asked if she could keep them. It was kind of a shock to see them again. Did I mention how terrible they were? And I had signed them!
I think that's when I quit signing my work. But, I keep getting asked to sign my pieces so I've sortof started doing that again. OK, this is getting boring fast. I'll post any new Cillian (28 Days Later) paintings that I do this week, as I complete them.
By the way, I just went to the Internet Movie Database and looked up Cillian Murphy and it turns out he also has a role in a movie I've been dying to see called "Girl with a Pearl Earring " about the model for the famous painting by Vermeer. Now I HAVE to see it. I just hope it's still showing in town.
If not, I'll have to wait until I can buy it on DVD. That's OK though, I am trying to build a collection of movies about artists. I find them inspirational when I get into the creative doldrums. So far I have:
I shot Andy Warhol
Slaves of New York
Vincent and Theo (about Van Gogh)
Camille Claudel (about sculptor Rodin and his creative prodigy Camille Claudel)
Moulin Rouge (Toulouse Lautrec)
On a totally different note, I saw a news story about the Russian scientists who had to be rescued from their floating research station when the ice float they were on melted.
I actually had a recurring nightmare of that happening. I lived in a town that was built on frozen ice and one day the ice started melting and the town started sinking into the sea. It was terrifying and when I saw the news story I had a horrible flash back.