A Combination of My Two Loves – Fire and Art.
It all started when my father needed a bench while building a fire. Being the handy-man that he is, he grabbed a few old used planks, nailed them together, and created a bench in seconds. He made few more for everyone, and I decided to paint them as a summer art project.
While using them in the backyard with guests, I was commissioned to do a series of five based on the personalities the individuals they were made for. Here’s what I came up with…
This image was meant to visually synthesize the user (Ivan’s) horoscope with his passion for cooking.
“Feels like Home“
I wanted to connect Ivan’s heritage with his boat ‘Buenos Aires.’ I placed him anchored within a representational Argentinean flag to blend the two images together.
This piece illustrates Ivan’s love for both wine and boating. I also included an actual cork from a bottle of wine shared while visiting.
“Beautiful French Woman“
Eve has always had this beautiful French aura about her. When I think of Eve, I see her wearing her stunning red lipstick, while drinking her Moët champagne.
I’ve never seen Eve without Mimi. So I decided to have Mimi be the structure and support for Eve’s bench.
This is the back of the image.
“A Love for Nature“
Many times Lola is seen on her paddle board cleaning the lake by picking up plastic. This illustrates her love for the earth, and also features an actual carpenter-bee whole to further depict her close relationship with nature.
When she isn’t on her board, Lola is often riding her dinghy. Since she seems so comfortable in the driver seat – I wanted to make her bench seem familiar.
Lola has a beautiful singing voice, and sings whenever she visits in our makeshift band. This was meant to visually synthesize her with her singing.
This is Gabbie’s adorable pug ‘Kevin.’ I know she cares deeply for him, so I wanted Kevin to be the first thing she sees when she looks at her bench.
“Sweet & Studious“
Gabbie is exceptionally studious, and from a few of our conversations I discovered that she has a bit of a sweet-tooth. This image is meant to combine her passion for her studies, as well as her favourite dessert and colours.
“Can’t have One Without the Other (Gabbie)“
Gabbie not only has a twin brother Hugh – but they’re also gemini. Every time I think of her, I think of her brother. Since one of her favourite colours is white – I decided to do a bit of a yin-and-yang theme to depict her closeness with her brother.
Hugh is quite the dancer. This image is meant to show his more fun side by combining his nickname, fashion sense, and signature dance move.
Hugh has some of the most beautifully done tattoos I’ve ever seen. One of them happens to be the iconic moth from ‘Silence of the Lambs.’ We once had a deep conversation about it, and ever since then I couldn’t see this design without thinking of him.
“Can’t have One Without the Other (Hugh)“
Similar to his sister’s bench, I did the reverse version of the image for Hugh. Turns out his favourite colour just so happens to be black – which works perfect for the yin-and-yang theme.
Original Benches – Studio Ghibli Inspired
Here are the original benches I created. They are all inspired by Studio Ghibli characters including: Totoro, Calcifer, and a Sootball. They were intended to be very simple in design to ensure that I wouldn’t be worried to wreck or damage them since they were meant to be used out in the elements.