1xRun Thru Interview
Call In The Spirits, Wherever They’re At by Glenn Arthur
1xRUN: Tell us a little bit about this original piece, what materials was it created with? When was it created?
Glenn Arthur: The original sketch was made with Prismacolor Verithin pencils on bristol paper. The actual painting was done with acrylic on wood. It was created in September/October of 2012.
1xRun: Tell us how the idea and execution came about?
Glenn Arthur: This piece is a tribute to the Madame Leota character inside of the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland. It was created for the 3rd annual Monstoberfest show at the Rothick Art Hause gallery in Anaheim CA. The words on the banner are from her book of incantations that sits on the table in front of her floating crystal ball. They translate to “Bring to sight, one who is bound in limbo.”
The Haunted Mansion has always been my favorite ride at Disneyland ever since I was a child, so I’ve always wanted to create a piece of art as a tribute to Madame Leota and I figured the annual Monstoberfest show at the Rothick Art Haus gallery would be the perfect opportunity. She is a blend of art nouveau and macabre romance mixed with my own style. I even went as far as to paint in a ghostly version of my signature hummingbird floating behind her.
1xRun: How long did the piece take?
Glenn Arthur: The sketch actually took longer than the painting for this piece, only because the idea had to be absolutely solid before I decided to paint it! It probably took about three weeks to get the sketch to look exactly the way I wanted although I ended up changing a few things in the finished painting. The painting took about two full weeks to complete.
1xRun: What is unique about this piece?
Glenn Arthur: This piece is unique because it’s unlike any of my other work. I’ve never painted my own version of an already popular character so this is a very rare piece for me.
1xRun: Why should people buy this print?
Glenn Arthur: Because it’s awesome! Madame Leota is such an iconic character! Why wouldn’t you want to buy it?!
1xRun: Describe this print in one gut reaction word.
Glenn Arthur: Haunting!
1xRun: When did you first start making art? What was your first piece?
Glenn Arthur: I’ve been drawing my whole life but didn’t start painting until my late twenties when a friend literally forced a paintbrush into my hand and said, “You need to do this!” My first painted piece was made in 2009. It was called “Sugarcoated Contraband.” It was a painting of a 1940’s era woman in tattered clothing holding a tray of cupcakes with grenades in them. She has a very sullen look on her face as she realizes that a hummingbird wearing a gas mask has pulled a pin from one of the grenades. The piece was for a show called Black Market Sugar.
1xRun: What artists inspired you early on? What artists inspire you now?
Glenn Arthur: I remember going to book stores years before I started creating art and reading books on Alphonse Mucha, J.C. Leyendecker and Gustav Klimt and feeling endlessly inspired! I was also very influenced by pin up artists, Gil Elvgren, Alberto Vargas and Olivia De Berardinis. My current inspirations are Audrey Kawasaki, Charmaine Olivia, Leilani Bustamante, Jason Levesque, N.C. Winters and Tatiana Suarez just to name a few.
1xRun: Do you listen to music while you work? If so what? If not then what is your environment like when you work?
Glenn Arthur: I do listen to music when I work. My musical tastes vary but some of my favorites are Depeche Mode, Ladytron, Late Night Alumni, Garbage, VNV Nation, Radiohead, Ladyhawke and I have a whole playlist of classical music that I like to listen to. If I’m not listening to music, I like to have familiar TV shows on in the background. My absolute favorite is the Golden Girls.
1xRun: If you could collaborate with any living artist who would it be and why?
Glenn Arthur: I would love to collaborate with my good friend Jason Levesque (aka the stuntkid)! We’ve done a lot of shows together and hang out whenever he comes to visit Southern California, but somehow we haven’t managed to create a piece together yet. I love and respect his work and think it would be great to combine our styles!
1xRun: If you could collaborate with any deceased artists who would it be and why?
Glenn Arthur: Alphonse Mucha! His work inspires mine the most. I’ve been studying his work for years and I learn something new from it everyday. It would have been an amazing experience to meet and make art with him!
1xRun: What was the first piece of art that you bought? Do you still have it? What was the last piece of art that you bought?
Glenn Arthur: The first piece of art I bought was a Gil Elvgren poster of a 40’s pinup girl in black lingerie ironing her dress. It still hangs in my room. The last piece of art I bought was a gorgeous print by Jason Levesque of one of his lovely women with her visible skeleton beneath her transparent skin.
1xRun: What else do you have in the works?
Glenn Arthur: I’m currently working on a new series of tattoo inspired, illustrative paintings to be shown in June of 2013 at Thinkspace Gallery in Los Angeles.