"The love of beauty is taste, the creation of beauty is art"
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, May 14, 2012

Change of Plans

I have the privilege of being asked to be the featured artist in the big gallery at the Quinlan Art Center in Gainesville GA in August.  While I am thrilled (!), all I can think about is "holy art exhibit batman"... it is May 10th and I can barely keep up!! I know, I know, no one wants to hear someone who paints paintings for a living complain . So,moving on...

 Originally my plan was to have a show with all female figures. Like this:

This painting is called "Waiting" it is a 48x48 oil. Of course this painting will definitely be in the show ( if for no other reason than it will take up space !!).

 Anyway, back to my point. I promise I will get to it soon.

  In April, I had the privilege of spending a week with my parents and son as we traveled to Williamsburg, Jamestown, DC, Monticello, and Mt Vernon. On this trip I listen to my mother and father talk about the blacksmith shop at Jamestown...how it looks just like the one my great grandfather "Daddy Bob" had. My Dad kept showing my son Jake the smokehouse on each property, describing how the one on his farm  growing up was just like that. They made their own sausage and ham, grew their own cows, chickens, pigs, rabbits and vegetables, and canned the vegetables. As I was listening to all of this ( farm to table stuff running through my head) I had a realization of how, because of my families' rural roots, I have been exposed to a very different view of the world than someone growing up in a "looks like everyone else's house" in a suburban or urban area. Not to judge :). I am one generation removed from the real farm to table lifestyle. Actually, growing up we had a family garden that my grandparents, my parents and my Aunt's family shared. We shared the meat that was produced at my grandparents farm. So, I have been lucky to know my food, so speak, most of my life. We did not see it as a luxury though but a necessity.

So... what does that have to do with my show? On this trip, I had an epiphany  about why I love painting the subject matter that I paint. I think I can finally verbalize what it is that I am trying to do. I want to capture  the simple joys of life . There are endless inspirational possibilities in childhood and the figure. I am most drawn to the everyday images of life. The moments that make a life, not the things.  The joy of rambling around an old barn, playing with a litter of kitties, running through the field with my cousins, sliding down a creek bank just because we could, sliding into home base and winning the game, my mother's love, riding horses, petting cows, swimming and fishing in the lake. All of these things are a part of me even though I now live in one of those "looks like everyone else's house" house in suburbia. I want to hold on to what is right with the world, keep the perspective  on the important moments instead of things. As remarkably simple subjects grab my attention, I find myself immersed in an understanding of their meaning and then, I feel I am compelled to interpret them in a way that celebrates their importance.  Ultimately, I hope the viewer will connect with what I felt as I painted and we can share in that connection.

  "Expressions of the Soul"  is the name and theme for my latest body of work.  I hope this show will tap your soul with joyful memories!! In the meantime, here are some paintings for the show in August!!

                                                                                 "Best Friends" 36x48

                                                                                                    "Tyus" 40x40

                                                                                                   "Love" 30x36

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