|Island Birth 18x24 oil on linen|
After a sleepless night and the next day packing the transport boxes in two vehicles to deliver paintings, the Shiawassee Art Center show is on its way. The smiling volunteers waiting to hang the show greeted us with warm welcomes. As they worked on their project two reporters from the local newspapers were interviewing for their stories from the participating artists – Karen Kangas-Preston, photography, Douglas Thayer with his strong forged metal work, and me with my curious abstracts and dunes.
|Spirit of Three Fires 24x30 acrylic on canvas|
The first reporter worked on the Michigan connection that is behind many of my pieces. He asked if living in the Great Lakes area had an influence on my art. I flashed years of hiking the ever changing dunes, waking to subtle light bouncing off the magnificent Lake Michigan, slipping on a frozen coast just to get that special picture, but I just nodded yes to the reporter. We walked over to a painting titled Spirit of Three Fires, referring to the Anishinabe legend of the Algonquin First Peoples that populate the Great Lakes. The reporter and I both knew the location of the reference photo.
The other reporter was also interested in motivation and how that motivation influences the paintings. We looked at the painting that was selected for the Michigan Governor’s Residence Artists Program, (see Surprise in Fort Wayne blog) the large Touch of Lavender. This painting has a lot of texture and as we moved our fingers over the thick paint I told the story of a previous art show where a blind visitor moved her fingers over the surface to “see” the painting. Every art piece has its own story, a collaboration between the materials, the creator and the viewer’s perception of the outcome. We all bring to an art show our experiences and expectations.
|Wheels of Fortune 20x24 acrylic on linen|
We walked around the gallery, she asking for the motivation that jump started the creative experience and me telling the story that helped to bring the visual to life. Both reporters were asking the same basic question, what was my motivation. This is the question most viewers ask when they look at any art. What are the influences behind the finished art work?
Some art is an expression used to support a belief or a statement - political, religious, romantic - and some tell a story that is influenced by the times the artist works in. We each create for our own reasons. Even though I have blogged about this before the question always comes up in interviews and discussions, what is behind the paintings. Each painting has its own story as well as its own history but that is another blog post for another time.
Thank you for your interest in these blog posts. For more paintings you may want to check the website, www.joelellisart.com or better yet, if you are in the area please check out the Shiawassee Arts Center Spring presentation in Owosso, Michigan. The show runs through April 14, 2013. Please feel free to share this blog with friends who may enjoy reading about the artist’s experience. I am still awed by the story in the previous blog on the Peru, Indiana High School art treasures.
|Earth Cycle 18x24 acrylic on linen|