This painting is different than some of my of my other, light hearted, works, because it is a deep and personal subject for me. Growing up, I discovered George Michael (thanks to my teen sisters) at just 5 years old, when he was still with Wham. My favorite songs were, "Careless Whisper", "Club Tropicana" and "Everything She Wants". I loved the videos and especially the one of careless whisper. Living in Colorado, I could only dream of being in the setting where the video was shot in Miami; the ocean, sand and sun. As I got older, I was thrilled when George Michael went solo with his "Faith" album. I told all my friends and family that I would ALWAYS love GM and I wasn't kidding. So, I was pretty much devastated when I heard of his passing on Christmas 2016! It affected me greatly, and I was moved to put all my feelings on canvas, of just how much this artist meant to me and inspired my life. It was the "Careless Whisper" video that I feel, in some way, played a roll in me relocating to South Florida, after living in Longmont, CO, for over 30 years; pretty much my entire life! When I would watch that video, it was like a glimpse of the future or premonition of what was in store for me. In 2011, I moved with my kids and 4 pets, to be with the love of my life. I felt like South Florida was a world away from the small town I grew up in CO. It was clear to me right away, that I belonged here. I felt at home immediately. I kept thinking of the "Careless Whisper" video and also "Club Tropicana", and I was like; this is so strange. It's like I ended up being a part of those videos or something but for real! So let me try and make sense of what I painted, the way I see it. My interpretation: I wanted George Michael, to be in the center. I have him on a dock and in the dark, with light surrounding him. He's a star after all. To the right, is the sax player, which begins the sad solo intro of this famous song. Your eye, travels behind them, where you are being pulled to a really big party. The party happening is the party called Life. I included the theme of the video of "Club Tropicana with the lyrics:
"Club Tropicana, drinks are free
Fun and sunshine, there's enough for everyone
All that's missing is the sea
But don't worry, you can suntan!"
George Michael is also some where by the pool, enjoying a cocktail.
Although, I had a reference photo of the actual building that the "careless whisper" video was shot from, I created a fictional building. It is an analogy of life, and it's many levels, stages and years that pass us by. So George Michael is in a pose, where he's singing, "Please Stay!". We all wanted him to stay forever, but he had to join the party, and go back up all the way, to the very top of the building, where it slowly disappears and becomes part of the heavens. George Michael, in his last days, is now at the very top, before he ascends into the final stage and leaves his body; and now George really is a part of everything and everyone. He is still and will always be a star. Although the painting, is vibrant with color, it feels a little sad to me because during his life, George felt very alone, despite being surrounded by so many people and fans.
So this painting took quite a bit of explaining and I gave it my all to capture all these emotions of the canvas. Thank you George Michael, for being such an inspiring artist. Your life and music have made this world a better place. I hope you like the painting.