Bare Bones: A Sporadic Blog

31 Days, 31 Illustrations of: Bill Murray

This year, I'm hoping to be more proactive in posting about my journey as an artist. I know I say this almost every year, but let's give this blog a shot in 2015.

Really though, I want to share my most recent project: JanuMurray. I know the punny name is a bit on the corny side, but what can I say? That's who I am.

                                                                                                                                                                                                               The cover for the compilation book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                               The cover for the compilation book.

I started JanuMurray as part of the Baltimore Fun-A-Day project: an initiative in which a several Baltimoreans pledge to do something creative every day of the month of January (writing, sculpture, painting, drawing... you name it). Hopefully, this will usher in a productive year of creativity. Come March, we will all be sharing our work in a group show hosted by Gallery 788 in Baltimore, MD. You can find out event details by visiting their Facebook event page here.

I've had a lot of fun participating the past two years, but I ended up with a wide variety of pieces lacking a common thread. I wanted to try to create a body of work that is cohesive when hung up together on the wall. I wanted to think of a project that would truly denote the concept of "fun". While brainstorming this past December, my boyfriend Ryan and I spent a lot of time watching movies.  Usually the only ones we can wholeheartedly agree on are those starring Bill Murray. After thoroughly enjoying Scrooged this Christmas, I knew what I would do each day.

I began by compiling a list of movies featuring the deadpan anti-hero, including some of my all-time favorites (Osmosis Jones, anyone?) and some I had never even heard of, let alone seen. Because of the availability of the movies as well as the time constraint of one-a-day for 31 days, I sadly could not cover his entire oeuvre. Up until the last 3 days, during which I was overcome with a particularly powerful case of the sniffles, I successfully watched a movie each day and created  a piece of art based on his role in that movie.

                                                                                       A preview of all 31 pieces that will be going into the book.

                                                                                       A preview of all 31 pieces that will be going into the book.

This process was very interesting for me. After about two weeks I began to become increasingly aware of how intimate a project this truly was. It's one thing to simply watch a movie and draw a character from that movie, but when you're studying one person on a daily basis - dedicating several hours a day to portray this same human over and over, they become a very integral part of your life. What's really odd is that I have never met this person and yet I see him every day, know his face and voice incredibly well. My involvement became invasive in a way, because he was no longer merely an actor grazing my consciousness, but a real person with a life that does not directly involve me. I had to detach myself from the process a bit at that moment and allow it to just be fun again. Not so conceptual. I started to do some more loose, "cartoony" pieces to break away from the realism I'm terribly prone to getting stuck on when it comes to portraiture, and I was able to complete the project.

Anyway. I'm currently putting the files together to be printed in a compilation book that eventually will be available for purchase! There will be signed, framed prints at the show on March 5, 2015 (and a bar!!) so come by!

Amelia GossmanComment