I had to go over my Better Call Saul painting. I was unhappy with it on far too many levels. After walking away from a “completed” painting and seeing it with fresh eyes, I inevitably notice details I disliked. My issues with this painting were beyond wishing I had spent more time on a figure’s left hand or anything inconsequential like that. I just wasn’t feeling it. The colors were all drab, not at all reflective of the show, which is simultaneously funny and dramatic. The small portraits were far too crude, even for something that is minuscule and far from the viewer. The shoes were awful, Saul’s expression awful, and it was basically all awful. I didn’t want to mass produce that and I’m embarrassed I even tried to get away with it. I am glad, however, that I now have a chance to explain what makes me feel like a print is not only ready but something I want out in the world.
I don’t simply want to create literal fan art. There’s enough of that out there and frankly I can’t compete. I want to transform images with colors we don’t see in the original image. Colors that although not authentic to the original subject maybe highlight the dreamy quality I see in the things I love. This particular painting has a direct reference scene. I went too literal in the original painting. We have that scene filmed and photographed the way it is. We don’t need the same thing but captured with paint instead of a camera. I’m not competing with the camera and I’m certainly not competing with Better Call Saul. There’s no point in trying; it’s too good as it was. What I can do is use this dreamscape style of painting to emphasize the colorful nature of the show and transform it. It takes place in New Mexico for Fuck’s sake. I can create a picture that’s reflective of the literal scene but still transforms it into something beautiful on a completely different level.
For a print to be ready it not only needs to have the right level of draftsmanship but elevate the original work. It needs to reflect the fandom, and it needs to showcase something new about the subject. By being more daring with the colors, by going bolder, I feel I can say this print is ready. Better Call Saul is not a show about lawyers. I mean, I guess that’s LITERALLY true. But it’s also not true at all. Better Call Saul is about being bold and passionate. It’s about the beautiful and complex nature of adult relationships and the drive to create something that’s your own. That’s the thing to remember when creating art.