There's a few different concepts behind this piece, but they all have to tie in with imagination, and the subconscious. I used a little bit of oil and mixed it with a lot of turpentine so that they separate from each other to form a cloud-like texture.
Remember when you were a kid, or even now, and you could see images in the clouds? That's what this painting is based on. After the paint dried, I went through and outlined all of the images that I found on the canvas. The key is to not say "no" to yourself when doing this. I didn't edit anything, all of the images were a part of my subconscious and my own imagination.
It's interesting for me to look back at all of the content of this piece because it seems that most of the figures and shapes are a combination rather than exact representation of physical or imagined imagery that I've encountered in my life. So for me, it seems that this painting may be a mirror of sorts, of how the subconscious mind may store information. Logically you may think that the mind stores information in an organized filing system, instead it may store bits and pieces of the same memory throughout several areas of the brain. Maybe it's easier for the brain to access memories that way? I have not done enough research on how the brain actually works so this may be common knowledge or, just a theory. :,P
The Rhino: I picked this particular rhino because I was reading about Albrecht Durer who was a German print maker who lived in the late 1400's and early 1500's. He read a description of an Indian Rhino and came up with this drawing. Nowadays we have access to so much information that almost nothing is left to the imagination. It was a different world back in Durer's time. People from northern Europe only heard stories about the beasts of Africa or of India and Asia. Only a little bit of imagery was actually available. Today, if we want to know about something, we simply "google" it. We literally have the world at our fingertips. So for someone to read a description of an animal such as a rhino and come up with this rendering... it just fascinates me. Especially since it is pretty close to how a rhino actually looks.
Another Idea:In art school they teach us the names of different principals of art in terms of composition as well as the ways of balance in a piece. If I didn't include the rhino in this painting it would be a crystallographic composition which is a balance that has no real focal point. However, I have put emphasis on the rhino in this piece. This painting is really meant to be seen from two distances: close, and far. From far away, you see a non intrusive painting of a rhino. The painting almost looks textile in a way that it only provides a single image that appears to have texture. Up close, you begin to see hundreds of images that you can spend a fair amount of time trying to find and interpret. The reason I have for this is to provide something pleasing to the senses but not demanding from afar and something a lot more rewarding when you're closer. A lot of things in life are rewarding if you take a closer look, This is a sort of treat for people that stop and smell the roses.
I've always thought that paintings should be given more attention and I'm drawn to renderings that not only have a story, but have a hidden message aswell. Have a look again, try and find as many images as you have time for. :,P