Ones to Watch March 2017
Five standout artists to keep your eye on
“The art I create is abstract expressionism. My process is deeply rooted in emotion; I believe that colors intrinsically represent different emotions. We all hold this inner palette of colors within ourselves. When we allow ourselves to become extremely sensitive and attuned to our inner world as well as to our surroundings, and yet stay strong, confident, and true, we can experience all these beautiful color explosions of emotion. This is part of the process and purpose of living.
“I’ve often referred to the canvas as an open stage where an improvisational act will take place. I use this metaphor only because it resonates with me, as I was an actor before becoming a painter. When you’re on the stage, you don’t know what is going to happen, and there’s a certain feeling that goes along with that. For me, that feeling is a color. It’s highly charged energy, the unknown expression of where this experience might lead. It’s also a very vulnerable place, but one that’s perfect for creation. The choices of color, texture, application, and composition are inherent, deliberate, palpable, bold, and, most important, honest about the emotional experience of the moment.”
“Through representation, I am interested in revealing the rarely seen aspects of the natural world. My fascination with the exquisite things unnoticed, the concealed and fecund in nature, inspires detailed compositions of small flora and fauna entangled. Opposing forces of revulsion and attraction, growth and decay, are conveyed through complex, intimate arrangements.
“My current work focuses on both marine and terrestrial worlds. The Marine Garden Series is developed from sketches of marine samples collected from beneath docks and seen through a microscope. From there, each piece evolves into scenes depicting true and exaggerated forms. These compositions are meant to inspire the imagination to the possibilities of diversity and abundance under the ocean’s surface. The Nature Studies Series is rooted in my own garden and woods and shows the struggle and relationships between animals and plants in a hectic, brutal, yet beautiful, world. As with naturalists of past centuries, I hope to encourage curiosity in the viewer so as to inspire conservation and stewardship.”
“When we surround ourselves with the great outdoors, we absorb the beauty of the unique sights and sounds that allow us to be present in the moment. Their impressions, though blurry in our memories, stay with us long after our return to our familiar homes. My landscapes aim to bring the soothing, healing energy of these special places to the viewer through rich and vibrant colors, pooled together abstractly and blended together in unique and dynamic ways.
“Growing up in Maine afforded me a rich environment of mountains, fields, lakes, and ocean to explore and draw inspiration from. These beautiful vistas have become impressions of color and light in my brain, creating a mood and feeling that I want to translate into fine art and share with you, the viewer. It’s never about representing a scene exactly as I saw it. As I strip away the excess, what is left is the very essence of a place in time, a jewel for your wall that can be reflected upon and enjoyed over and over again.”
“Art ignites, carries, and enshrines movements. One movement I’d like to help carry is that of ‘permaculture,’ which was ignited back in 1978. Permaculture is hard to define, which is why I like to create visuals to pique interest. Typically, it means human engineering and design that mimic and use nature to produce functions benefiting humans as well as nature. A lot of what humans do now benefits only humans, and temporarily at that, and abuses nature. But we’re the most intelligent species on the planet, so let’s make a shift. By practicing permaculture, we can help ourselves and help nature, which ultimately helps our grandchildren. I’ve started a line of artwork to give visual examples of permaculture, and I’d like to get people involved.
“I’m using natural paints, called earth pigment, and reclaimed lumber as a ‘canvas.’ I post my paintings and process on my Facebook page, ‘Permaculture Art,’ where anyone can shoot me ideas of permaculture designs that they would like to see painted. Together we can hone our definition of permaculture and start a conversation with our friends.”
“Though I live and work in the city at least half the year, the natural world keeps appearing and reappearing in my work. I’m not particularly interested in representing exactly what I see there. I’m more interested in a distillation or abstraction of what I see. The best way for me to achieve this effect is to build multiple layers, often beginning with mark making with graphite and/or inks. I then apply encaustic in multiple layers over the drawing to create the final painting.
“Sgraffito No. 1 was created in this way. I made a complex series of marks in graphite and drawing ink on a sheet of German etching paper and mounted it to a 36- by 36-inch reinforced birch panel. I studied the marks, then layered encaustic medium, a clear material composed of beeswax and pine resin, on top. The painting built itself in layers from there, interacting with the marks underneath, some of which are clearly seen through the encaustic surface, others not. Gradually I added some layers of white encaustic paint to the surface in a mindful way so as not lose the transparency and foggy quality of the imagery. Finally, I incised some fine lines in the wax to add movement and texture to the surface.”