"Maddyland" Brianna Gilmartin 2014
This took a while to scan! Phew. This will probably be the only painting I ever do THIS large because it really was a pain to scan and I had a really hard time merging each scan together. That could definitely be helped with a larger scanner which I hope to one day get, but it also took me two months to complete and that is just too long to do on the reg. The painting is 36” x 30” (3ftx2.5ft). This painting is of my stepdad and his identical twin. I’ve always been kind of fascinated by their twin connection. My step dad has many siblings, but his twin and him always make time for each other in the most adorable ways. They have sea food night once a week, they get together and work on things constantly, and they’ll take vacations together with their wives. They are also super similar in personality, while still being really different. When I first knew my step dad (I was friends with his daughter, that’s how my mom and him met), I didn’t know he was an identical twin. I went to their family beach house with them and while I was talking to Mike, his brother came up and sat next to him and they started to make identical goofy faces at me. It was totally mind blowing as a 13 year old, and a totally hilarious way to meet his twin. A year or so ago his twin bought a large piece of property for him and his brothers to hunt on. My step dad, Mike, doesn’t really hunt (although he did do a bit with his brother this year now that they have this property). One of the first things they did with the property was start to make a camping space. There is a small island on the property surrounded by a shallow creek that had already been used as a camping space for girl scouts. The only way to get onto it right now is a small foot bridge off to the left of the island (out of the picture) that can get a bit slippery from the water. So far, they have made a fire pit and cleared the area of some unnecessary or damaged trees. There are some duck blinds throughout the woods made from stacked logs. They hang their matching hammocks in the spots where I illustrated them, and they put a tent up on the left side of the island (also out of view). They have started to make a bridge on the front of the island with old railroad. So far, they only have the two railroad pieces for the very start of a foundation. I think they’re going to be working on the new bridge all spring and summer, and I’m sure it’s going to be really great when they finish. It will be strong and sturdy and much safer than the other bridge. I think they intend for it to be a bridge they can drive over, but I’m not sure. The fruits of their labor always turn out beautifully. They are a couple of handy men of many talents. I can’t wait to see it and to camp in their space! They call it Maddyland. I just love that they get together to essentially play in the woods every week. My sister (Mike’s daughter, Nina) even found an old story that Mike wrote for school about him and his twin when they were little boys and they accidentally lit the woods on fire. He wrote it using fake names so they wouldn’t get in trouble, and it is adorable and a really cute immortalization of one of their adventures. I wanted to do the same thing with this painting and give him something to remind him of their fun adventures in the woods together. I also wanted to represent their connection with a stream of consciousness between them. It always seems like they know exactly what the other is thinking/going to do. I wasn’t sure how to represent it at first. I was going to do a stream of small images and words that might delve more into their personalities, but they probably mostly telepathically communicate fart/poop jokes to each other. I decided to make it more of a static, ghostly stream coming from each of them and joining together in firm-handed grasp. I’m really happy with how it came out, and I’m hoping he is going to like it! I have it framed and ready and was supposed to give it to him at my birthday dinner today, but plans have changed and I will be giving it to him later this week.
Now I will be able to move onto smaller projects! I have a couple of things to do this week (one that I can’t post until April) and then I’m going to start working on developing my comic book I want to make. I’m really excited and itching to get started with that, I think it will be really fun for me to create and develop my own story finally. I have just about everything figured out in my head except for the name of the main character and the comic name! It’s like picking a name for a child!