Friday, October 19, 2012

NASA and new news for U 2 Know part 2: Experience the Art of the Experience the art of the experience the art....


What's on the docket?  I'm reading the minutes from last meeting, it says here that at 2:15 we are supposed to discuss putting in a traffic light at the corner of General McCarthur Avenue and Pithy Lane.  Ombudsman Reginald Quan has a presentation about radical snack foods from the 1950s, and later, we'll be voting on whether or not to re-pave the sidewalk leading up to the commissary.  Lidia, I believe you were going to speak about the women's militia needing more bullets and WHAT THE F@#% AM I DOING!!!?????


For a minute there I thought someone had lobotomized me and I had become a member of a town government.   Gotta stop watching those debates.  Shit.

Where was I?

TWE NEWS.  Yeah, that's the ticket.  More specifically, the Art of the TWE.  Created by yours truly.  Uhhhhh.....Phil.  My name is Phil and I make the art for the TWE.

Why should you care?  Well, to be honest, maybe you shouldn't.  There's a lot more important things out there in this hazy/crazy/lazy/daisy world.  BUT...if you do care.  About art.  Then read this shit.  Cause we have some cool art-related objects to shove at you.

Here's one.....
1.  How about a Business on the Lanai Poster? 

This is a full color 11X17 inch gloss poster featuring the cover art from our latest EP, Business on the Lanai.  The original art was painted with acrylic paint, inked with mechanical pens, and then scanned into a computer and fixed up here and there with photoshop.  It features a tiger person in a psychedelic coat, a blue space lady with crazy shades holding a petrified flower, a dolphin, a waterfall, an angelic white tiger with flaming seraphim wings, and a tiny cowboy cat riding a fiery porpoise.  It probably took me nearly a year working on it on and off to complete.

Here's the story:  A few years ago my buddy Marc gave me an Ipod.  It was an older model, but had a lot of memory and worked fine.  I promised him a piece of original art in exchange.  Probably a year or 3 went by and I still hadn't manifested this promised piece of art.  Marc wasn't giving me a hard time about it, but I always sort of felt like an asshole for not coming through on my part of the deal.

When it was time to create the new TWE record, I decided I'd kill 2 birds with one stone.  I'd paint Marc's picture and simultaneously use that painting as the cover for the new album.  Easier said then done.

Thematically,  I was going to incorporate tigers into the piece, since Marc's production company is Lucky Tiger Productions.   Being a weirdo, I found a way to connect this with stories of  encounters with extra-terrestrial tiger people as expressed by James Gilliland, who runs the Eceti ranch up in Washington state, and claims that there are regular sightings of UFOs and paranormal phenomena in the area.  He virtually claims that if you go to his ranch, you will absolutely see ufo's flying into the mountain that sits near his home.  Here, check it out:

What I find particularly interesting are these photographs of blurry cat people someone affiliated with him is said to have taken with a cellphone.  Follow the link, the pics are right at the top of the page:

Gilliland himself has said to have had encounters with these cat people, and he states that the photographs in question are of a feline being from the Sirius system.  Fair enough, dude.

What''s more, cat people are a repeated theme throughout history, the most obvious example being as part of the Egyptian pantheon of gods.   More recently, famous comic book artists like the great Jack Kirby would feature cat beings in many of his books, like Kamandi, a book about a boy living in an apocalyptic future featuring marauding gangs of tiger people, or Captain Victory, a psychedelic space saga with a cat guy as the chief engineer of the ship.  So, it may seem crazy, but I'm following in a rich tradition of cat obsessed artists.

So I had my theme, now all I had to do was execute.

 Last summer (2011), I was living in Vermont for 40 some odd days, filming a feature length movie called American Epitaph.  Here's the trailer:

"American Epitaph" Teaser Trailer from Ryan Holden on Vimeo.

 I play one of the main characters, a young man named Eliot who goes off to join a war being fought on American soil, and after realizing that war sucks, goes AWOL.  We filmed it in the wilds of VT (Vermont is an extremely beautiful land, if you didn't know, now you know) and I knew I would have lots of downtime between actual shooting, so I got to drawing and painting.  Luckily for me, there was a great big, amazing waterfall behind the backyard of the ski lodge where the cast and crew were all staying.  After staring at its majesty for probably a week or two, and submerging myself in its f-f-freezing waters, I decided this would be a good object to incorporate into the painting.  So I did:

 Again, here's the poster with the waterfall, and below, the same waterfall behind myself and the other members of the cast of AE.

 With the tiger-dude and the waterfall in place, I soon realized the image needed some babes in it.  Thus manifested the blue lady, who I look at as a nod to the 2010 album TWE producer Allen Towbin and I created as the band Agents of Venus.  Besides, if you are going to do a painting about extra-terrestrials, you have to include hot blonde blue ladies.  It just goes without saying.

Her presence completing the male/female circuit of balance for the image, started to add details that I thought were meaningful to our current project.   Referencing the lyrics to the final song on our EP, called 'Petrified Flowers' (the song title itself a reference to the band the Stone Roses, a fave group of both Mike and mine - 'Flowers' is our Stone Roses tribute song),  I started to litter the painting with images that appeared in the song.  For example, the blue lady is holding a crystalline flower, a direct reference to the song title.  The tree above the Tiger-man's head is also filled with blooming crystalline flowers.

There's a line in the PF that goes:  "We'll ride singing porpoise, clouds of purple circle as we dive."  This line paved the way for the little cowboy cat guy.  He's flying through the air on a flaming porpoise.  Why is the porpoise on fire?  Why are you asking such a stupid question?

Another line from the song:  "We'll find winged serpents, dancing where the flowers petrified."
This line gave birth to the fire-winged tiger.  A winged serpent is another name for a seraphim, a certain kind of mythological angel from the bible.  A serpent with wings symbolizes the meeting of the earth and the sky-- after all, its a snake that flies -- a dragon, really.  This style of fiery wings was the way seraphim were depicted in middle ages paintings.  So I copped the wings and placed them on a white (think angelic) tiger (to keep the tiger theme consistent), and placed him (her? it? them?) on the highest point of the painting.  Now our image has a higher power, a creature that guards this strange mythic land our cover painting characters inhabit.

Oh, and there's also a dolphin in the painting, just so yo can see the difference between a dolphin and a porpoise.  Trust me, they're different. 

This image took about a year of diligence to complete.  The original now lives in the offices of Lucky Tiger Productions.  But the poster version can live on your wall, too.  Just go on over to the TWE store on our website and scroll down to the poster offer.  For a measly $5 you can have a little piece of TWE memorabilia.  Think of it as a window into a psychedelic landscape of oddball mythological mashups.  Put it on your wall and bug out to it!  Its good stuff, I swear...

Just follow this link to the Troy Westfield Experience's online store and cop a poster for yourself:

Damn, this news post got long in a hurry.  More stories and art for your heads and your hearts to come, and then, ultimately, NASA!   stay tuned....

1 comment:

  1. when is american epitaph out? when do i get to see it? & blood was everywhere? i mean, if i'm a real phil ristaino fan, i need to see these things. ;)