The reference photo I used for this painting was taken at the first lion dance I have witnessed in person at this past Chinese New Year in front of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum. These giant puppets always looked strange and playful to me in photographs with so much texture and detail to take in, but they feel much more like a bizarre animal interaction in person. The giant blank eyes that occasionally blink and the mixture of loping movement and athletic moves are impressive but the true disorientation occurs when the face is so close to you that you can't take it all in. That feeling of being confronted by an uncanny alien is what I was interested in conveying.
The alien features of this fuzzy mask remind me of a particularly fuzzy moth, which then reminded me that I have a lovely photo of a fuzzy green moth. This green moth I have a photo of isn't extremely fuzzy or that alien looking but he's up next!