T-Shirt Painting and the Dark Side

My Vader t-shirt painting

Well, I finished it – my first experiment with using a part of an old t-shirt in a painting.  I had first to decide which shirt to use.  I went through a plethora of Belfry t-shirts, followed by a few Monty Python tees, then I it came down to two: Ash and Vader.  In this instance, I chose Vader and essentially, the Dark Side.

I really enjoy this shirt with the red text that reads “Your Empire Needs You.”  The text already looks like paint splatter and I didn’t really have the heart to cut up my Ash t-shirt.  There is just something about Bruce Campbell’s, sorry, I mean “Ash’s” face (no, I really do mean Bruce Campbell *rawr*) that makes it difficult for me to cut the collage apart.  I’ll figure it out eventually though – but I’m getting off topic.

So, here is how this all worked out.  First, I applied gesso to the plywood and adhered the t-shirt in the position I liked best for the composition.  After that, I reworked the painting a few times, trying to find inspiration and direction.  Finally, it dawned on me: THE Empire and the Empire!  You know, the Japanese Empire from the 30’s/40’s….World War II….ringing any bells here?  The rising sun flag is where I drew inspiration for the silver streaks coming from Vader.  I then decided that instead of painting scenes from my favorite Star Wars films (the ORIGINAL trilogy of course) that I would make a stencil of both a storm trooper and the Imperial emblem.

The piece then became a practice of design and color which I truly enjoyed working on.  The future I believe holds many more t-shirt paintings.

PS: This one was definitely a success if for no other reason than the young man who I gave it to, Quentin, truly enjoyed the painting.  It just so happens that he is currently supporting the Empire in his Star Wars fandom and thought the painting was “awesome.”  Quentin is 9ish….but, he has excellent taste both in Art and movies!  Still, I’m probably biased.

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