Thursday, December 17, 2009

"Flowing Gold"

Creative Capitol show in Denver

The painting above this text ("Flowing Gold") is currently on display in the Colorado State Capitol through February 28, 2010. It is part of an exhibition celebrating Artists of Southwestern Colorado. I am honored to be one of 37 artists from 16 counties.

A public reception will be held on Thursday, January 28, 2010, 4:00 - 5:30 pm in the Offices of Lt. Governor Barbara O'Brien.

The raking evening light in this painting reveals brilliant golds in contrast with deep shadows along the Rio Grande as it flows through the San Luis Valley. Here water is more precious than gold.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Landscape Painting

If an artist works thoughtfully and with intent, certain images, certain kinds of marks, certain forms of composition are bound to recur. They will be different for each artist, but recognizable as idiosyncratic.

I grew up walking the tall-grass prairie near my home in Manhattan, Kansas, in the heart of the Flint Hills region.

At Kansas State University, I studied architecture in the 1960s, and later began making severely abstract images representing the interaction of mankind with nature in a series of prairie storm paintings during the 1970s.

At the University of Kentucky in the 1980s, I moved to lithography, expressively interpreting the landscapes of Dante's Inferno in black and white. The Kentucky landscape, itself, was too intimate, too crowded, too manicured to be inspiring.

After moving to North Dakota in 1985, the clear penetrating light of the northern prairie called me once again to painting. And though the images generally were somewhat abstracted, storms still appeared, natural and man-made elements were often recognizable. Everything was worth painting ... the hills, the sky, the trees, the potholes, the grain bins, the fences, the roads, the telephone poles, the sheds ... with feeling, my drawing/painting/writing hands moved quickly to express intuitively some of the tensions that will probably always exist between the natural world and humankind.

Leaving North Dakota for Colorado in late 2006, was an opportunity to begin anew, to build on acquired skills and knowledge, just as I had done so many times before ... new places to see, new materials to experiment with and master, new attitudes to try on, new directions to explore ...

As always, discovering self -- the heart of all worthwhile adventures.