Thursday, February 12, 2015

Chicken Cathedral (oil on canvas, 2014)

(Private Collection)
I worked for years as a commercial artist in the fields of graphic design and illustration, using my skill set to visually communicate other people's ideas. But when I made the move to Maine ten years ago to focus full-time on my art, I decided to paint just for myself. Consequently, I don't do a lot of commission work and I have turned down a fair few projects, regardless of how lucrative they may have been. However, I have had the good fortune on a few occasions to have been approached by some exceptionally open-minded patrons who, in the hopes of obtaining a work of art with some personal meaning, have invited me to explore their property and look for subject matter that would interest me, while allowing me complete creative freedom as well as the liberty to work at my own pace. This image was the fruit of such a project.

I visited this farm many times from late spring until early October last year, making numerous pastel drawings - some that I was very pleased with and others (as is often the case) that just didn't work. Ultimately, I found myself repeatedly drawn to this interestingly-shaped building - dubbed the "Chicken Cathedral" because of the hand-carved wooden rooster atop the cupola - and the various old oil tanks that surrounded it, their oval shapes providing the perfect foil to the angular nature of the architecture, whilst reminding us of the utilitarian nature of the building itself and its place on the farm. I confess, I had a wee bit of trepidation that the client might be disappointed that I had included the oil tanks (You'd be surprised at some of the stories I've heard from artist friends who regularly do commission work!) but in the end my fears were unfounded and they were quite pleased with the final image.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

There Are No Coincidences (oil on canvas, 2014)

(Private Collection)
I made this for a dear friend who's been a constant source of inspiration and spiritual guidance. He loves trees and the title is something that he reminds me is true on a regular basis - especially at those times when I need to hear it the most.