Monday, October 3, 2011


"Happy", 30" x 32", ink & acrylic on synthetic paper. (c)2011 by Howard Salmon
This painting is based on a birthday card that my wife gave me recently. The word "happy" was on the cover (as in "Happy Birthday") I thought, "is it possible to make a painting about happiness, without appearing childlike or ridiculous?" My aim here: to make a happy painting that actually feels happy.

I'm still working with the repetition of very simple repeated cartoon-like shapes (based on the idea of "masks"); in this case, the palm trees, the butterflies, and the glasses of red drink at the base of each tree. Everything else (the clouds, the trees...) are also all made from very simple repeated shapes and movements of the hand. The layers of color are what I really spent most of my time on here. Multiple layers of different colored washes created this feeling of atmosphere, which I really like. The letters at the top ("Happy") are painted in shimmering gold acrylic.

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