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David Delamare: Alice in Wonderland Painting (Beware the Jabberwock) www.daviddelamare.com

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Uploaded on Dec 13, 2009

As his publisher, I'm often asked how David Delamare goes about creating a painting or where he gets his ideas. The real answer, of course, is immensely complicated and more than a little mysterious. It helps to have the right paints, brushes, and canvas, but this constitutes a tiny portion of the equation. Far more important is maintaining a certain state of mind, one which results from many years of rising late in the day; dipping into the New Yorker, Nabokov, or Wind in the Willows; following with a long bath (jazz, opera, or Teaching Company tapes in the background); listening to Monty Python, "Duck Soup" or "The Third Man" while painting; finding time for Stoppard and Pinter plays; walking instead of driving; eavesdropping greedily in restaurants; choosing witty and eccentric friends; and taking time out for a Bombay Sapphire and tonic in the afternoon. Alter or remove any one of these elements and a painting may shift or fall flat.

This is why it seemed entirely appropriate when a patron, upon viewing his paintings, asserted that David obviously listened to Mozart while working, and entirely absurd when someone else offered to publish a book in which David would teach "how to paint fairies." Long time collectors know that what's best about a Delamare painting isn't the technique or even the narrative content. What makes a Delamare painting worthwhile is the specific sensibility and personality that so clearly infuses it.

The correct answer to the question "how does David create a painting," is "I have absolutely no idea." Neither, by the way, does David. Not really. So rather than attempt to explain the inexplicable, I've put this slideshow together. It won't unravel any deep mysteries. But it will allow you to see what I'm privileged to see on a daily basis--the unfolding of a mysterious and somewhat magical process.

David himself snapped the pictures and I created the slideshow. Other than sizing, I didn't alter the images. Rather, I wanted viewers to see the pencil lines and all the other artifacts of the creative process.

David has now photographed three paintings in this sequential manner, but I chose "Beware the Jabberwock" for our first slideshow because it is truly unique in its number of changes. Typically the paintings proceed pretty much as planned. Not this time.

Not only did David change Alice models, mid-painting, he changed his entire conception for the book. Just after the 48"x24" oil painting was sold, he decided to cast all of the traditionally human characters (except Alice) as animals. Unwilling to repaint the entire complex composition, he painted an image of the Mad Hatter as a baboon. This was dropped in by our friend Dave McShane using Photoshop® for the purpose of books and prints. This was the only time in which a digital process was employed creatively. David has little familiarity with computers and doesn't use them to create art. (As of this date, he still doesn't know how to send an email, but he'll read any comments you post concerning this slideshow.)

For those who don't know David's history, "Alice in Wonderland" will be his ninth fully illustrated children's book. (His last was a collaboration with Carly Simon, who wrote the story.) Though he is most popularly known for his mermaids, fairies, and children's books, he is also very well respected for his figurative paintings, two of which appeared in the last volume of "Spectrum Fantastic Art." My favorite book thus far is titled "Animerotics: A Forbidden Cabaret." I modeled for many of the paintings and also co-wrote the story, so I'm probably somewhat biased on this point. But it's also David's favorite. We hope to be releasing giclée prints of the illustrations soon.

At my company Bad Monkey Productions, we produce greeting cards and prints (both limited and open edition) which may be seen at www.daviddelamare.com. We also license his work, which is available in the form of lithophane lights and (soon) puzzles and playing cards. If you have questions please direct them to me, Wendy Ice, at delamare@teleport.com.

Please note that this slideshow was approved by David Delamare. His copyright policies do not allow slideshows or products to be produced except through Bad Monkey Productions. Please respect his copyrights and his wishes.

Thanks for visiting!
Wendy Ice
President, Bad Monkey Productions
Images © David Delamare, 2009.
Slideshow design© Wendy Ice, 2009.

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