Brother Melon

After the dream sequences, I wanted to explore other interests I had – but in an only semi-personal way. I find that usually my best technique explorations accompany theme explorations and personal introspection. That is – I started on the concept of Brother Melon – some kind of monk character that was also technically savvy – and the method began to present itself as I followed the themes. The themes of the Brother Melon phase of my actual life mixed with fantasy weighs heavily on the interplay of light and dark – of glowing luminescent concepts shrouded in darkness, inaccessible. I spent a lot of the last decade reading philosophy, theology, mysticism and wisdom literature. In sum: I’m not strictly a skeptic about what we can know, but I certainly don’t think it’s orderly or presents itself in common-sense ways. At the same time, rationalism and empiricism have their own kind of internal consistency – and so having orderly blocky textures isn’t just a sort of reference to technology, but it’s also an analogy for how some kinds of knowledge work.

I explored some new textures using a Processing script I found called vector drift – and I combined that with my own image-brushed patterns, taking those and making them stark black and white textures after the fact. Why? Because the theme for these is the darkness with bone-white pixels sticking out from it, black unknowable things with light and color erupting from it. Strokes of vibrant color weaving through the much more difficult black and white of actual knowledge. To make the black and white for the central shapes, I didn’t want to use old textures, so I found some ink and some paper, used some kind of wet drawing techniques to get acceptably whispy designs that I could make glow. This is the whole mood: glowing whispy light, contained and wrapped in black. The main series then became meditations on thoughts I found beautiful. Leaves from notebooks.

The technique of making the backgrounds was so satisfying though, I experimented a little more with drawing out some lines, making some bare bits of structure to connect pixels and patterns – and those became the symbols of the little fleeting bits of wisdom, questions, thoughts, the sorts of things relegated to the margins of my books – of books in museums in the margins. The references in there are oblique q.v. (quo vadis) and (cf. confer) bits to refer the viewer to the texts that I was musing on while constructing the pixel arrangements.

The avatar is just a photoshop of Bonaventure (who is the third leaf quote) combined with some other Franciscan painting and Freddie Mercury’s sunglasses from an oil painting of him. I like the feeling of combining them into a character that is only semi-serious, since this subject matter is actually closer to my heart than most of my work.