This painting dates back to 2007. At the time, I was developing a series of paintings that had a Southern-Fried, Thelma & Louise
flair to them. Each painting featured a scene taking place in the deep south during the middle of summer in a place without air conditioning. The paintings were filled with heat, sweat, and often the grime of a dingy environment. Almost a crime noir for the South, though I certainly wanted them to be fun as well. I was nostalgic for Texas, and it heavily influenced my paintings at the time.
Several paintings were started, and most came near to completion. I have never shown them publicly before, as I had intended on developing several more and release them together as a series. Of course, that was a few years ago, and I think it is time to share some of the works.
Ali II is actually the second Southern-Fried painting featuring Ali as the subject. The first version has yet to be complete, but you'll see it here soon. Anyway, I was having fun with the primary painting we worked on, and added this in as a quick study to see if a campfire scene might work for a future project. The painting quickly moved beyond just a study and took on a life of its own.
These days, my palette is a lot more subtle, though I still enjoy the enthusiasm of this piece. I certainly loved those orange and reds. I look forward to sharing the rest of the series with you later this year. Hopefully.