Original Art: Flora of Gondwana


 

I’m venturing into new territory – offering a little insight into some of the hows & whys behind the art I create. I believe there’s a balance between sharing just enough vs too much. Ya know, like how sometimes it’s cool to just let the art speak for itself.

But I often get asked about technique & intent, so.

For my current show @ Blake Anthony Gallery, I played with color theory. This 12-piece series is my exploration with a limited palette & the way the color of a given atmosphere affects shadows & highlights.

I chose plant life for the subject matter. Mainly because I could experiment with a controlled expressionism (is that even possible?!) with bold, limited brushstrokes.

Conceptually, these are plants I completely made up. Sort of variations of similar species. The series title, Flora of Gondwana, speaks to the narrative behind the whole set.

There’s this theory that, over the long arc of geological time, Earth’s landmasses go through repeating periods of convergence & separation. All the land is at times gathered in supercontinents. The land later divides into separate continents.

You probably remember the name Pangaea from elementary school. And how the eastern coastline of South America mirrors the southwestern coastline of Africa. They fit like puzzle pieces. Like Pangaea, other supercontinents have existed: Ur, Rodinia, Pannotia, etc. One of these supercontinents was Gondwana.

As supercontinents drift apart, due to the new oceans stretching between the continents, plants & animals on these separated continents diversify. They change. Different populations of the same species develop in new ways based on new environmental conditions.

Anyway, that’s getting all scientific & brainy. I often find artistic inspiration in scientific & brainy stuff, tho. They offer as good an inspiration as any other source, I reckon.

I kinda dig how they almost look like prints, yet each is a hand-painted original.

Flora Of Gondwana
No. 001 – 012
Acrylic on paper
11″ x 14″ framed behind glass
$60 each

NEXT MONTH: Clay pieces created in my first-ever wheel-thrown pottery class.

 

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Original Art: An Almost Wordless Story


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A lot of non-dedicated spaces exist as art galleries. Here in my current hometown of Mansfield, OH, our coffee shop & indie bookstore continuously host art by local artists. That says something about this area, I believe.

Some friends of mine own a salon downtown. These same guys have, for a while now, been patrons-of-sorts. They regularly encourage me, offer feedback on my creations & pass art supplies & knowledge my way. I’m so grateful.

During this past holiday season, I displayed some paintings & handmade ornaments in their shop. That morphed into an idea: What if they allowed me to show in their nontraditional space? Treat it like an art gallery? As in, regularly change out my pieces, say, once per month for all of 2019?

This would keep me creating on deadline. Structure’s good sometimes. A series of fresh pieces on a monthly basis.

My friends readily & whole-heartedly agreed. (It could be that they’ve been nudging me to show my pieces there for a while now…)

Their business caters to an existing clientele. It’s not exactly a public space. For a wider audience, I figured I’d share my pieces here each month. That’s another way to hold myself accountable to this New Year’s commitment. Also a solid way to revive this site I’ve been aggressively neglecting.

I reckon another part in sharing this is to challenge other artists. No official “Art Gallery” where you live? Or maybe there are such galleries, but, for whatever reason, they’re not a good fit for your art?

Stretch your perspective; get creative. That is, after all, something you’re great at.

Shoot, hang your pieces on a wall in your own home, snaps pics & post them online. Blogs are free. I’m starting to remember this fact. This very blog scored me the sell of a sculpture to Fox Studios & an amazing commission via a design firm in Seattle for a project in South Korea. I’ve even sold a few pieces thanks to simply posting pics on my Facebook page. Dude, unexpected. And easy.

Assuming I keep this commitment throughout the year (you know how fickle/flaky us artists can be sometimes), a range of subjects & styles will spill out. Ya know how some artists have a particular style, technique, media, what have you? Yeah, not me. All depends on what materials I have available, what I feel I need to express/purge through my art at any given moment, whatever inspiration comes.

I fought this niggling for years. Felt a need to nail my style down, focus, find that singular visual vocabulary that’s identifiably me. Well, at some point here recently, I kinda got over that. Somewhere in all my pieces, there’s my metaphorical fingerprint, right?

I’m betting you’ve got one, too.

If you like anything you see, let me know.

I hope to see your work. I also hope to hear your ideas of how artists can get their work out there in creative ways.

If we don’t do it for ourselves, who will?

We Stand With Standing Rock


So, I performed some poetry etc in support of Standing Rock.
I happened to be wearing a bird mask for part of it.

#waterislife #allthesparrowsare1

Voices from the Borderlands

15420897_10154356588862830_684050273966762102_nIn late July, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stating their concern that a pipeline slated to be built encroached upon ancestral lands.


It’s a five dollar donation to get in the doors of the Standing Rock Solidarity Benefit show, to be enveloped in the warmth, the glow, the murmur of conversations cut frequently by loud laughter. It looks like someone’s family reunion with folding chairs and cheap plastic table cloths, a buffet set-up with six donated Two Cousin’s Gut Buster pizzas and cheap booze. As the place slowly fills with people, the room becomes a beacon in the cold night, a bright light in a row of dim buildings, a convention of friends new and old, setting the stage for solidarity.
September 4th, Dakota Access begins clearing ground for the pipeline, bulldozing over sacred sites and burials. Protesters are attacked…

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