Monday, April 16, 2012

Three Living Artist... that I love and why....

Susan Block
I first was introduced to Susan's work while visiting the oregon coast with my husband... we visited The Freed Gallery which housed one of her larger pieces. These paintings are absolutely stunning. The way that she uses color to compliment and build the anatomy of the horses structure is so brilliant and works so well that her paintings become almost as believable as a photograph. This is what I love so much about them. There is this uniqueness to each painting that is just not acquired by photograph...the drops of paint and streaks from smear marks are so carelessly placed but serve a direct purpose of dark and light, background and foreground. There will always be a place in my heart for these paintings as the equestrian subject matter is dear and near to me and I can't wait for the day that I can afford a original Susan Block piece.

 James Christensen
James Christensen is another beloved artist of mine. The story behind this is that every Wednesday when I was in high school... my grandpa used to pick me up from school and drive me to Flute lessons. There used to be just enough time to stop by the local gallery and see what was new every week. One of the displaying artist was James Christensen. I loved his work so much! If only for the simple reason that you could not just glance at his work and pass by with your arms crossed...his work commands a closer look. These pieces are so intricately done and the figures are so proportionally correct (and intentionally incorrect sometimes) that one can immediately discern that the artist has the knowledge of a classically trained master and is either choosing to display this knowledge or not. James has trade marks such as a floating fish seen in a majority of his work... and it is details such as this that I grew to love. 

Deborah Butterfield
One amazing artist!... People used to see my drawings and paintings of horses and ask me if I knew of "the artist that made horses out of drift wood." and it wasn't until I started volunteering at the Tacoma Art Museum that I encountered three of these artist sculptures in person. I gained a new appreciation for these pieces when I learned that they were not actually made of drift wood but of cast iron and metal made by the artist to resemble drift wood. What I love about these pieces is similar to my likes of the Susan Block painting. The use of material to create the anatomy of the horse, in taking up space and creating negative space that ones mind fills in. I could almost make the statement that these sculptures teach the anatomy of the horse in that the arches and curvature of the bronze compliments the natural structure of the horse informing the viewers eye as to what this seemingly skeletal display of the horse has in common with the musculature display that is missing. 

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