my 20th century inspirations

on my journey through art-making, i have always found inspiration from the artists of the second half of the 20th century. but recently those inspirations have taken on a new importance for me as i have begun a new series of work that i can "excavations", where i am creating narratives through combining text, numbers, patterns and portraits. i am layering these things together on surfaces that are pieced together from scraps/recycled pieces of wood, aiming to create pieces that look as though they could have been excavated from within a wall of an old house or pieced together from pre-painted remnants of america in the 1950s. i have always drawn upon the work of jasper johns - but his painterly brushwork and use of symbols and numbers has taken on greater importance here. richard diebenkorn is an artist that i was introduced to by my mentor and friend, bill stephens. he goes to diebenkorn's work for inspiration, and i have come to be influenced by his color fields and color/tone relationships and geometric division of space. his 'ocean park' series is specifically inspiring to me. you will find a wide variety of pop-culture imagery weaving through robert rauschenberg's works, but what i have always been most drawn to are his 'combines' - paintings that have actual objects attached to them. along with being beautiful (or ugly... but in a beautiful way), they begin to weave a story once they are combined with the imagery and colors that he applies.

hopefully as you view these works and dig a bit deeper into the artists, you can see how they have inspired me - and i hope that you come to have your own group of inspirational artists along your artistic journeys.

robert rauschenberg "estate"
robert rauschenberg "estate"

artist of the week :: jasper johns.

when i was first really getting into painting in college, my favorite professor doug anderson introduced me to jasper johns and mark rothko. rothko's work was too cold and image-less for me, but johns' paintings spoke to me. his use of texture, collage, and simple yet emotive imagery i found to be very powerful.

the style in which he painted influenced my work in college - broadening my horizons from realism into a whole new realm of expressing myself. i have since continued to study his work closely and it has seeped deeply into my art.

this thursday, february 12, at rochester art supply's cascade art center, there will be a workshop / info session on encaustic painting. this was johns' main painting technique. contact for more details.