Listening to The Ravenous Blues

23/100 Moon Conversations “Listening to the Ravenous Blues”

This is one of the quickest paintings I made during 100 Moon Conversations, and as it turns out, the one with perhaps the most comments and interest (from people on social media).

I woke up early, went to my desk with this title in mind, found a reference photo in my phone that seemed to fit and chose the color blue. I didn’t even want to spend time painting the figure with accurate skin tones. All blue. My best work is made when I’m not overthinking.

The title comes from a poem I wrote in 2013:


The small ones are close
their eyes are pins
and they float to the surface
sleeping, but they hear you
separate from them
listening to the ravenous blues
pining in corners

What does this even mean? I couldn’t tell you. It’s such an eerie, cryptic poem but hey, this was the kind of poetry I was writing in 2013 and sharing for critique with a poetry class. My process of writing poems was to imagine things and write them down, find word combinations that fascinated me, look in dictionaries and thesauruses, write until other words came to mind and form the words together like a tiny sculpture.  At the time I was a bit fearful to be vulnerable in poetry, or reveal anything too personal. Yet the strange poems I wrote in 2013 inspired some interesting titles for illustrations that grounded them in something more real.

The line listening to the ravenous blues emerged, and on it’s own was a specifically dreamy thought I liked thinking about.

The road to good ideas is often paved with failures.

Good art isn’t supposed to tell you what to think. Illustration, is usually more directive, yet there always has to be mystery. In between magic and the mundane is where the most interesting artwork exists.

“The ordinary + extra attention = the extraordinary.” – Austin Kleon