That’s right, artist Greg Stones can make poop into a funny subject matter in his sharp landscape paintings.
Maybe it is because a penguin is pooping? Wouldn’t you have the same reaction if a huge reptilian monster was coming after you from behind the hedges? I think so. This little penguin thought he was just off for a romp in the woods, maybe coming upon a lake to catch some fish for dinner. Then the big green monster appears. What do you think happens next?
It seems we never know what to expect with Greg. He is able to create these quite serious looking landscapes. Ones where you expect to witness some stunning feat of nature. But isn’t bigfoot one of those stunning feats? This scene reminds me of King Kong where the damsel in distress is always trying to flee the man who loves her. Isn’t it sweet that the sheep escapes by a little red balloon. This scene is quite a fairy tale. Or do you see a tale of human loss? A child running for the red balloon he let slip away. The artist may have a sense of humor, but he gets us thinking about the story he is trying to tell.
Stones has a great formula here. He describes his process as: “I start with a basic landscape or figure-study sketched in pencil. Then I add a light wash of watercolor. And then I try to think what would make the painting especially awesome. In most cases, this means creating a frozen, transient moment where either something has just happened, or something is about to happen. A few hours and many layers of paint later, a new piece is ready to be framed and sent out into the world like a bat out of hell. (I don’t know what that means, exactly, but it sounds cool.)” I am grateful Greg started to add some humor to our lives. ‘Zombies Hate Clowns’ has become a classic in our little state, my husband has this one hanging in his office. We need smiles brought to our mundane work days.
I thought the flashers were my favorite series, until I saw the new work posted on Greg’s site. Now I am in love with the sock monkeys. Who do you think wins, the sock monkey or the reaper? My money is on the sock monkey. They seem like survivors to me.
I am glad Greg Stones found his voice in his paintings. As most educated artists stumble trying to make something they love and something that sells, Greg did the same: “When I first started out, I painted lonely self-portraits, landscapes, and animals. I was strictly a nostalgic and technical artist. Not to mention an isolated artist who rarely did anything more exciting than watch cartoons and nap. And possibly eat pasta.
At some point along the way, I remembered that I had wanted to be a cartoonist when I was in college, and I started tossing a little humor into the paintings. Flying people? Hungry sharks? Nude blue alien women getting picked up by UFOs? You bet. And for reasons that I cannot explain, meeting the stunning woman who would become my wife somehow led to the addition of penguins, robots, zombies, flashers, and poop. In fact, these elements have become such a dominant part of my work that people are actually shocked and horrified when I resort to my old ways and create a landscape where no pooping penguins are killed by topless robotic zombies. It’s pretty cool.” I would like to thank Greg for imposing his sense of humor on us. We all need to remember to be less serious and have some fun.
For more prints, paintings, books and notecards visit Greg Stones’ site. Try not to laugh too hard.