Guardians of Oz

I keep an eye on a local gallery as they are pretty cool ( art boy gallery) and a while ago they were accepting submissions for Oz related works for a show.

What the heck, I thought, I can do that.  I started a painting and then just began to hate it until I discarded it in a fit of disgust and I did not try to enter the show at all.  I don’t actually like to do anything under pressure and I don’t like painting what others want me to paint…so the entire thing I abandoned.

That was a while ago now, and recently I was doing a bit of a tidy up (does not happen nearly enough) and I found the painting and I decided it was not all that bad and I should finish it.

I had chosen to do a picture of the guards  at the emerald city, looking bored and just hanging around and waiting. In a previous life (well, a previous job but honestly it FEELS like it happened to someone else), I once stood on barriers at train stations to check tickets, so I feel somewhat qualified doing this painting of getting just the right amount of boredom in the expressions on their faces. There is nothing quite like working with someone you would never really hang out with in real life, and your job is to talk to them all day and every now and then check a ticket or so – with a random arrest or chase or punch up to break the tedium (and that was just between station staff…boom tish!)… You run out of conversation. It does get a bit…dull.

I liked the idea that these guards were going to let the adventuring party in with no idea about who or what they were – and then pretty rapidly there would be flying monkeys attacking the city, and their wizard would just get up and bugger off, and suddenly all their lives would be chaos and changed, and yet at this point they have no idea about it.

This is the newly finished painting, at any rate.

I hate the dog, and I really need to sit down and teach myself how to do perspective in watercolour, but other than that, I’m ok with how this turned out.


Flying monkeys are pretty cool though. I kind of want a flying monkey, I’m sure it would be JUST FINE with the cats, yeah? It could swoop down while I’m cooking and steal sausages to share with the cats. Pity I’m in Australia, and we have lots of restrictions on keeping flying monkeys as pets.