These young men are real. I swear. I couldn’t make “Hungry, Vegan, and Broke” up. I saw them in one of my favorite places to people watch—outside of Powell’s Books. It was a hot, hot afternoon, and they looked just as hot and tired as they do in my painting. But the sign was absurd and their shoes expensive, so I don’t think they were in much danger of starving.
I came right home to paint them. My youngest daughter came home from school to find me almost finished.
“Why are you paining those men?” she asked turning up her nose.
“Because the are tragic, funny, and beautiful all at once.”
“I don’t get it.”
Her reaction was a foreshadowing of all my friends and family. So several, months later I downplayed this painting when I had my first show. It didn’t sell, but it got more positive reaction than any other painting there. It is one of my best selling greeting cards and it doesn’t do badly in prints either. Everyone smiles.
Today Redbubble , a print on demand service, featured it on their homepage. It would be Redbubble, they like the quirky and the edgy.