Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Shopping Mystery part 2

A few weeks back I told the story of a recent visit to a local supermarket and a mystery charge added to my total. I decided that it could be the start of a future supermarket print, and set the idea aside for the future. However it wasn't long before something came up that made me decide to put it next on the agenda. Later this summer the Belmar Arts Council will be having a show called Belmar Urban Myths. The idea is to create a narrative based artwork that tells of a Belmar area urban myth- one that you've heard in the past, or one you made up yourself. I didn't know any of the former, and had no immediate ideas for the latter. But then I remembered my supermarket incident. One of the possibilities for prints in the supermarket series is "what if" stories. So this print could serve as my entry for the Belmar show, as well as be the latest in my ongoing supermarket series.

I considered a few "explanations" for the scanner incident, how the can of dog food could have been added to my total without me or the cashier seeing it. My first thought was a secret agent type descending from the ceiling (like the famous scene in the first Mission Impossible movie), but it wasn't that interesting, and didn't work compositionally. A few days ago, as I really started thinking about it, I came up with the idea of a dog being the logical dog food thief. With both the customer and cashier's backs turned for a moment, it could pop up, scan the can, then disappear again. In fact, why not let it live under the conveyor belt in a little dog house? This way the store doesn't complain about missing inventory, with random customers being stuck for the cost of the food. I'll admit it's probably not what happened to me, but it will fit for both the show and the series.

A few days ago I did a quick layout sketch of my idea, seen above. I used some quick sketches made at the supermarket this week, plus two earlier prints in the series that were set near registers, as visual references. Then today I started the block sketch. I got as far as what is seen below.

The basic composition is fine. The two standing figures need a bit more work, but they are pretty much what I was planning. After the figures are resolved, I'll fill in the rest of the register details. I'll need to figure out what can be seen behind the cashier, but that can wait for another day.


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