A long time ago, in a land far away, I attended a painting residency. (It was 2003 in Pouch Cove, Newfoundland.) During the day I took my paintbox to work on location, struggling through ridiculously windy conditions, but happy to be there, focusing on my work. In the evenings I painted interiors in my studio. The studio was not visually appealing, but, back in the day, I was religious about painting from life. Since it was too dark to paint outside, I painted my surroundings - my chair, my easel, my paintbox. Not very exciting.
One evening, discouraged with the painting that was happening in the studio, I gave up and sat down to watch 8 Mile. Within two hours, my world had unexpectedly opened up. To my surprise, I was really moved by the story (Eminem? - I wasn't a fan particularly). But I was especially inspired by the look of the film. I had never thought of painting from a movie before, but I was seeing paintings in so many scenes. It was an inspirational and visual delight. I dragged the VHS player into my studio, hit play (then pause), and started to paint. After a few minutes the movie would automatically resume playing. So I'd grab the remote, rewind, find my frame, hit pause, and paint. Then repeat: paint, play, pause, rewind, play, pause, paint...It was pretty comical. (If you're old enough, you'll remember that VHS players automatically resumed so as not to stretch or burn the tape. When I got home I switched to a DVD player, which made this process much easier!)
This one movie sustained me for a long time, and opened me up to painting from video stills and photographs. It truly changed my world: art inspiring art.
Here is one of my paintings that came out of 8 Mile: