The neons of Jackson Hole continue to surge in my Teton Village studio — the latest? The Rawhide Motel, in downtown Jackson.
As you can see in my extremely tall-formatted source image — this sign captures the flavor of The Old West… albeit, during day (something I would modify with my artistic license, which, by the way, is UN-revocable).
If you’d like to see this entire painting come together one minute, check the video. Bonus? Soundtrack by MH the Verb, and a cameo from the lovely Vega.
Borbay’s Studio, Teton Village, Wyoming — I’m delighted to share my first update from 6,320 feet. Jackson Hole has been a magnificent experience, and it gets better by the day. Below, you will find the latest and greatest — thank you for being here.
I’ve always been fairly obsessed with neon signage… hence my numerous trips to Las Vegas. In downtown Jackson Hole, you can spot several glowing gems, such as the oft-painted Cowboy Bar… and the Antler Inn. There is something about a dramatic sign in the night sky.
I took the source image for this painting just before twilight, and let my imagination do the darkening.
Here’s the entire process captured in time lapse, sound track courtesy of The Bergamot.
In 1981, Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones set the big screen ablaze. His adventures have spanned three decades… with a fifth film in the works… and if you would believe the latest press — “this won’t be a Bond thing“.
In other words… Ford and his cattle whip will be back.
Here is the scene, captured in a fleeting moment during the third film. It is the perfect Jones posture — well-beaten from many battles, flashing his signature smirk, staring down adversity with a sweaty glint.
If you’d like to view the entire process, narrated by yours truly — here is your chance. Did I hum the theme song twice? You’ll have to watch to find out. And yes, I did.
Upon arriving in Jackson Hole for a three-month, self-funded artist residency — I found myself wandering downtown. What caught my eye in this gorgeous Western City was the glimmering neon signs… and friends, the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar is something to behold.
There’s something about a bar with saddles… I actually took the source image while Periscoping to an audience. The angle felt interesting and different… something I instantly wanted to paint.
Here is the entire process in a shade over one minute, soundtrack courtesy of my boy MH the Verb — who just relocated to Philly. This is doubly relevant, as I watched “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” while painting this bad boy.
Following a beautiful decade in Manhattan, we decided to become nomads. Our first sojourn transpired in Minnetonka, Minnesota. For three glorious months, we painted, we fair’d, and yes, beautiful people… we bowled.
As the shimmering summer sun gave way to the crisp breeze of fall… so too did our scenery change — to the rugged mountains of Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Our fascination with The Hole began with an early 2014 commission. I went out to shoot source images, got my kicks, and declared, “Erin, I must take you there!” And here we are, with Coraline and Vega, living the great adventure (not related to the theme parks).
I’ve wanted to paint The Dude for years… literally. Though, somehow, the timing never seemed right… until now. I’m on a streak of guilty pleasure canvases, and I don’t want the good times to end. Jeff Bridges and the Coen Brothers created a masterpiece and all-time cult classic with The Big Lebowski. And, let’s be honest, he has been painted by at least seven hundred thousand other artists… but to worry about that would be very un-Dude, and as an ordained Dudeist Minister, I gotta keep my mind, you know, limber.
As for the source image…
Ever the courteous Dude, he asks to “do a J” before lighting up… this shot felt very Dudelike. The moment when The Big Lebowski is in seclusion, The Dude reads the ransom letter in his mind… but we can hear him. Eventually, he reconnects with Big in real time and says, “bummer, that’s a bummer man”. This is my favorite scene, and hence, the one I chose to paint it.
The track is a live performance of a selection from the piece “Truth and Dreams” by Kate Pittman. It features Josh D. Reed on trumpet and Ben Thomas on bass.
Deeecent boys! Holy fuck, it’s Bubbles! Where’s Steve French? Is that a dirty fuckin’ samsquanch?
One of my all-time favorite shows, Trailer Park Boys, has been playing on loop for so long… I decided to paint a portrait of Bubbles. Mike Smith’s character was an on-set discovery, and has since become a beloved figure in the world of liquor and dope.
The source image was captured when I froze a frame from the movie “Don’t Legalize It“. Bubbs is holding a vile of clean piss… Julian’s hustle to make dough… the piss didn’t make the final canvas, parts unknown.
I decided to really explain myself in this process video — there is some swearing for those with virgin ears.
I spent the first 8 years of my adult life in the Upper East Side… so, it would seem fitting that my first painting started and completed in Minnesota would be this Upper East Side Town House. The source image was captured on the 4th of July… two days after my Independence Day — clandestine all around.
My goal was to treat this architectural painting as a portrait… breathing life into the windows. Several weren’t lit in my source image, but fortunately I was able to retrieve some after I left the city.
Here is the entire process in 80 seconds… if you love this beautiful track, performed and produced by MH the Verb, featuring Aaron Pfeiffer and Jules — you can buy it now. Fittingly titled “Running Shoes” — I spent many evenings running loops in the gorgeous Central Park.