Join me Saturday January 18th from 6 – 8 pm, for the opening reception of Inspiration at the Kennedy Heights Arts Center. This exhibition will feature artist who created works of art inspired by the people and places that inspire them. The work that I submitted for the show was inspired by two paintings by German Swiss painter, Paul Klee and a painting by Cincinnati based painter Brain Joiner. Gallery talk for this show will be on Saturday February 5th, from 1 – 3 and the exhibition will continue through March 1st.
When I started taking my art more seriously after college, I often found it customary to look through my collection of art history text books for sources of visual inspiration. Artists such as Franz Marc and Lyonel Feininger helped put my world of architectonic/musically inspired paintings and drawings in a familiar language which helped me and the viewer understand what I was creating. Aside from the futurist movement and the cubist world of; Juan Gris and Picasso, Paul Klee always held a special place in my heart. Whether he was observing man-made or natural environments, or animals bathing in the mystical moonlight, he always had an insightful form of visual expression both fun and playful. For this exhibition I chose two works by Klee: “Landscape with Yellow Birds” and “The Goldfish” as the source of inspiration for my painting. When I was planning the compositional elements of each work to later combine them into one painting, I thought of Cincinnati-based artist Brian Joiner. He had a series of paintings and installations that included the subject of fish. In 2007 I had the honor of exhibiting my work with Brian joiner and Courtney cooper. One of the paintings from the show that Brian did was entitled “Parting the Red Sea”, which has a striking resemblance to Paul Klee’s “The Goldfish”.
Who inspired me first? Who knows? As much as I’d like to look at books and travel to museums for sources of inspiration, it’s the close relationships that I share with people that really encourage and inspire me, in my life as an artist. Brian came to my first art show in 2001 and has never stopped inspiring me to be my best. There are many formal elements that I appropriate and improvise from to get to the finished work of art, but nothing can replace the warm and reassuring voice of encouragement from a friend who wants you to do your very best. Thank you to all the old masters of art; for formally introducing me to a world where I have created my own visual language. Thank you, Brian Joiner, for testing me to work hard and succeed.