Rob Dunlavey
September 2007
Under the Influence
Lately, I've been hauling these big fat coffee table books about Hungarian and Russian Folk Art home from the library and poring over the astonishing and varied crafts of these countries that I know so little about. The items in this small snapshot caught my eye: they are "Gable ornaments for peasant houses" from Moldavia which at the time that the book was published was part of the Soviet Union.
cut paper (approx 14 in. tall)
I got a bee in my bonnet and scrounged up some black paper, folded it and started cutting these things. I love them! They are part of this cut-paper activity that I do from time to time like this: "Halloween Heads".

They are fun, funky totems. Mysterious but not too threatening. Decorative but vaguely significant too. I'd like to see them about 20-40 feet tall in steel in a city plaza somewhere. Maybe a bunch in a forest-like clumping... Graffiti encrusted with couples kissing in the shadows, drunk Red Sox fans climbing on and getting impaled on the sharp points! Yikes! Okay, let's do a fountain instead!
ink, collage, tempera paint
Any artist knows that her scraps are sometimes better than the the intended product. The shackles loosen and the creativity kicks up a notch or two. Same as a kid looking at the clouds in the sky, the leftover black paper got used as stencils for some paintings I'm messing with. I think they're part of this "bird idea" that's banging around inside my skull. We shall see!
Trash Day
"It Came From The Town Dump" cover illustration for Sanctuary Magazine, Massachusetts Audubon Society | 1990 (?) pen & ink, wash | John H. Mitchell, editor
It's trash day right?? Hope I'm not the only one! Here's my contribution: a cover illustration from the vault regarding the problem of solid waste and how it had become a defining issue for many communities (I know, I'm being too literal). Nowadays, I guess we ship a lot of our trash, as  a nation, to China, Hollywood or Washington, D.C.

What goes 'round, comes 'round!
left: Sad bunny with a droopy ponytail (Ellen) right: Mad schmoo (Rob)
Last night, Ellen and I played the Doodly-doo game. You probably have another name for it but basically, both players start out with a small sheet of paper with identical markings on them. In this case, we used a red sharpie. Then we both do our own drawings and compare the results. Good clean fun.
left: Elephant brain (Ellen's alter ego is an elephant) right: Tuba player (Rob)
left: seascape (Ellen) right: pirate (Rob)
left: "Hello my name is Kiko" (Ellen) right: Dorky ducks (Rob)
left: Computer table (Ellen) right: Mona Lisa (Rob)
left: Flying a kite (Ellen) right: different things that make smoke (Rob)
left: ghost! (Ellen) right: astronomer (Rob)
left: snake with detachable triangular ears (Ellen) right: cat with trumpet playing bird on tail (Rob)
We had a good time!
Face Machine
The average face is on the upper left. After sliding a few knobs...
Since we're talking about juries and courtrooms and that sort of thing (police line-ups?)  this post may not seem so strange. Face Machine is a JAVA applet that allows you to manipulate elements that differentiate faces. It's mysterious, subtle and strange. And it probably works slow in your browser too. But if you're in-between jobs or need to kill a little time, get away from the mirror and make a few faces on your computer!
My Little Monkey
"lost in the forest as daylight fades" collage, watercolor, ink
Like a fox, circling back around the long way, I'm closing in on a narrative concept --possibly.  Mostly, this series is an excuse to start with a figure or a background and then fill in the emotional, graphical  and painterly details and see if a story gels around it. I add a few more pictures as the muse and time allows.

My Little Monkey gallery
Six years out
In honor of those who actually lost something six years ago on this day, I urge you to forget Bin Laden temporarily and fix your sites on the monkeys in the White House with the gas can. They have ruined everything and it's getting worse.
Cubicle Man
09-02-07 (collaged in Photoshop)
I think it's time we let this poor fellow out for some fresh air.
Happy September people!
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