Pictures At An Exhibition
They had to drag me, kicking and screaming, into Fine Art. I’m an illustrator, and except for a short deluded period in art school, that’s what I’ve always wanted to be. But all my friends have left illustration for fine art, and keep telling me how wonderful it is to create your own imagery. But see, I often have that with illustration anyway.
I figured I’d give it a try. It was fun, and I will do it again. I learned a lot about what has to be different next time. Like, I will need a more prestigious show, with people with more money, of course. I guess the question is, will the more prestigious show want me.
There is a thing in California, or maybe everywhere, I’m not exactly sure….but everyone seems to do landscapes and animals. Incredibly beautifully painted landscapes, by incredibly gifted artists. I think landscapes must sell well. But I really don’t want to paint pretty pictures. I have to look around more and pay attention to people who do more idiosyncratic work to see if there is a spot for me somewhere. I’m thinking of people like Kenton Nelson and Steve Huston. There are many others that are doing well with their own personal imagery. Steve has probably never painted a landscape in his life.
I love Eric Bowman’s work, and he does paint landscapes, but in such a personally distinctive way, that somehow it takes it out of the realm of painters that I am struggling to come to terms with right now. So, I am very confused, and searching for answers. This is all so new.
Since back in the beginning of my career, I’ve always enjoyed painting billowing fabric around figures. Very dramatic, and I love the reflected light, and the abstracted shapes. I painted cloaks, dresses, curtains, sheets blowing in the wind. I think I was inspired by N. C. Wyeth in that, and it evolved. So when it came time for this show, I thought to leave out the figures and just do the fabric. We went down to the beach at sunset and tossed bolts of fabric up in the air and shot away. Someone asked if we were doing a commercial for a fabric store.
I sold a painting I did during the Quick Draw, where you have to paint it in one hour. At $350, that was pretty decent. But I figure you’d have to paint several a day to make a living. I did win a nominee ribbon for Best in Show for my San Gabriel VAllegory painting I did a few years ago. There were five of those ribbons. But for my first fine art show, I was happy with that.
It was definitely an interesting experience, and it gave me a lot to think about. But for now, look for me in the Workbook, not American Artist.
Very nice Bob! One of the things that always made your work stand out to me is how adept you were at rendering folds and drapery. In that, you remind me more of Parrish than Wyeth. Sometimes you painted them faithfully, other times very stylized. So it’s logical to me that you carried that into your fine art.
Did you do these in oils?