What happens when four wildly different artists come together at the gallery? We can’t wait to find out when we open our new show, Synergy, on Thursday August 27th from 6 to 8 p.m. here at the gallery.
We’re anticipating a glorious evening of abstract and representational paintings married with saturated color, gobs of texture and spectacular flashes of creativity from our four artists: Brent Baker, Angela Nesbit, Charles Ross and Jim Seitz.
We had some fun with this talented crew when we asked them for their thoughts about what goes on behind the painting – and their heartfelt answers were insightful. What they make look so effortless, so spontaneous and so easy actually is not easy or effortless at all.
Brent Baker is a zany and energetic abstractist who gravitates to organic forms that take on a distinct personality of their own when married with his signature color and texture: “These two paper paintings are examples of my interest in the organic shapes and design elements found in nature. These works have a painterly rhythm that pulls the viewer into focus with the composition.”
This ongoing theme of nature’s bounty is on one of his favorites – and ours. They’re always filled with great energy and movement and we find they strike a chord with so many of our clients. Is it the expanse of white space that lets the eye rest? Is it the spontaneous dashes of color? Or the engaging charcoal marks that draw your eye all over the canvas? Whatever magic Brent is working with his paintings, we’re begging him to keep going!
Angela Nesbit, an artist with whom we’ve worked for years, paints layers of oil and infuses her work with a radiant light. We’ve always been drawn to her painterly florals but right now we’re loving her new series of elegant nudes (don’t worry: we’ll have both hanging on the walls at the gallery for the show.)
Angela says: “The journey into painting the nude starts with the unexpected. I have found that my best work always come from a very honest place where I have no expectation of the final product. Often from a chaotic start, a conversation with the canvas begins and has a life of its own.
“I start several abstract under-paintings at a time. I begin by layering paint on top of paint to create a spontaneous and energetic beginning. I paint hopefully – with no idea of what the final product will be! I like to use mostly straight, non-organic lines to begin to keep the energy and create tension.”
“Once I have an idea of where I am going, I begin to add paint from very large pre-mixed piles of paint. Adding and subtracting paint are equally important. It is a process of losing information and finding information until I have surprised myself. My goal is to create energy and a mood.
Angela always portrays an easy, loose but very artistic vibe in her work. Her rich colors and intense technique make for highly textured, luminescent works that are compelling – and simply beautiful.
From Charles Ross, a painter whose subtle palette and pared-down subject matter make for interesting and dynamic paintings that are full of quiet energy and sophisticated composition: “Whenever I’m asked about inspiration, I talk about what Chuck Close, an extraordinary artist and man, whom I hold in very high regard said. He said, “inspiration is for amateurs, the rest of us just show up and get to work.” He says, “the best ideas come out of the process.” And you know what? He’s right.
“That’s what makes this whole art thing so exciting. You don’t know where you’re going. It really is, at it’s best, an adventure. I feel very fortunate to be a part of it.”
We’ve always been drawn to Charles’ ability to portray movement, focus and energy into a painting – and surround it by calming white space. The perfect juxtaposition! He’s judicial with his application of paint but a master of media manipulation on the canvas. And his thoughts about the process of painting had us quiet and thinking for a few minutes.
Finally, we asked Louisiana painter Jim Seitz for his thoughts of what goes on behind his paintings. Over the years, Jim has developed a unique technique characterized by a tonal, minimalist representation of his subject matter. His utilization of gold leaf applied over heavy textured canvas and then glazed with multiple layers of acrylics has quickly become his signature style.
He said this: “Living in South Louisiana, I have the opportunity to witness some spectacular rain cloud formations. In my current phase of art, I tend to focus above the horizon line on the sky and clouds. On a recent trip to Santa Fe, Connie and I watched as a rain storm passed through. It was magnificent.
“I typically try to paint from memory and not from photographs. Painting from memory allows me to incorporate things that I sensed along with structure. One can see the rain in the distance, then slowly feel it and smell it as it approaches.”
With work like this hanging on the walls, it’s all about “Synergy” at Huff Harrington Fine Art. We’re delighted to show off and happily brag about these four uber-talented painters. If you’re in town on Thursday, August 27th, stop by from 6-8 p.m. for sips, nibbles and a feast for the eyes.
(P.S: interested in a sneak peek? Stay tuned – we’ll be unveiling new images for this show on the website next week.)