When I started trying to promote my own artwork online I kept coming across other people's art that amazed or compelled me in one way or another. This blog has been a way for me to practice thinking and writing about art, as well as learning more about my peers and all the incredible art that is being made out there.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Kris Manzanares

"Girl at Rest / Speed"  oil on panel  48" x 32"  2014

"Fight"  oil on panel  14" x 14"  2014

"Eggplant"  oil on panel  14" x 18"  2014

"Leaving Austin"  oil on panel  23" x 14"  2013

"The Mustard Eaters"  oil on birch panel  32" x 49"

This is a post that's long overdue. Turns out I started to write one in 2012 but got sidetracked and apparently forgot that it never went up. I knew Kris in Arizona more than 15 years ago when she was a sculptor. Having children made that work more difficult but she found time and space to paint instead, a difficult transformation that she made look all too easy. It also transformed the very nature of her art, much of which involves metaphorical narratives based on the lives of her children. But her work is as much about atmosphere and technique as well. She combines very controlled drawing and realism with expressionistic brushwork, the backgrounds often dissolving into pure abstraction. There's something about them that really captures the bright heat of summer days in the southwest. But whether she's painting figurative psychological narrative, a simple landscape or a still life, they are all clearly echoes of her personal life, the small moments and seemingly insignificant objects that together constitute a life.
You can see much more of her work at krismanzanares.com
and if you happen to be in the Phoenix area go see her work in person at Paul Scott Gallery in Scottsdale.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Gayle Bard

"Bainbridge Island Cloud"

"Skagit Flats"

"Franklin County"  2013 oil on canvas 42.5 x 54"

"Bateman's East Sussex"

"It's a Boy"
Gayle Bard's paintings explore volume and light, most recently in the form of vast cloud forms looming over the land. The land is often, but certainly not always, somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. She currently lives and works on Bainbridge Island across Puget sound from Seattle, but she is originally from the midwest, and one senses that her youth accustomed her eye to open spaces. Her landscapes are less about the land itself that they are about abstract three dimensional space configured in two dimensional representation. And yet a real sense of place matters as well. The colors of the northwest, a subtle but radiant array of blues, greens and grays, suffuse her work. The sky in her paintings is not simply occupied by the occasional cloud but is a true atmosphere, volumes of air and moisture fading into each other and through which we all move and breathe, more like fish in the sea than figures moving about through empty space. The air is as real and present as the land below. And when it comes to light, she seems to relish not the scintillating prismatic wonder of it portrayed so famously by the impressionists, but the way it fades, and how colors ebb into gray when the sun is only indirectly present.

Her career has spanned over 40 years and covered far more territory than what I've described here, including a wide array of subject matter and approaches including installations. I'm sad to say I've only just discovered her and I wish I had been able to see a recent retrospective of her work at the  at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art. If you feel the same and happen to be in the area, you're in luck. She currently has work on display at Linda Hodges Gallery in Seattle.