Bear and a Cuppa, 12x12 inches oil on canvas panel by Kenney Mencher
This original painting is one of the few rare paintings that I've made from my imagination. I usually need some sort of reference material such as a photograph or a live model to make my art and in this case I was attempting to make a painting based on a sort of shopping list of ideas that I had for both the subject matter and how it would look.
The subject, is one of my favorite homoerotic subjects to paint. A large bearish man wearing a T-shirt or a tank top. There's something so basic and so sexy about middle-aged men and especially bears. In this case he looks a little bit more like a muscle bear because his arms are so thick. I wanted the painting to have a high contrast of light and shadow, this is often referred to by an art buzzword called "chiaroscuro" and or with the spotlighting effect also referred to in Italian as "tenebrism."
I wanted the painting to be a more intimate and familiar kind of genre scene. The kind of scene of everyday life in which someone is drinking cup of coffee or large cup of tea and is caught up in the moment. That's why I've cropped in so close on the head and shoulders and in some ways the figure almost seems anonymous because he's not engaging with anyone else and the mug serves as a kind of mask or cover for his face.
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