Jody Franklin - September Featured Artist

Posted on | Sunday, August 28, 2011 | 16 Comments

 Art Speak - Meet the Artist September 11, 2 - 4 pm 
Jody will speak about his work featured in the special exhibit room.

Artist Statement: “Organic Surrealism”
Arriving in Indiana in 1995, shortly after receiving my Bachelors Degree in Fine Art and my Masters Degree in Science in Art at Texas A&M University, Kingsville, I made the decision to make Crawfordsville my home. 1995 was also the year I ended my military career with the U.S. Navy/Navy Reserve. I served in Operation Desert Storm in 1990/1991, where I received the Navy Accommodation Medal for my duties in Kuwait & Iraq.

During college and to the present day, my influences go back to many artists and art styles in history. The works of Van Gogh, Dali, Picasso, Max Ernst, Otto Mueller, Antonio Gaudi, Vermeer, Surrealism, German Expressionism, Pre-Raphaelites and Cubism, I would have to say, spark many of my artistic inklings. Specifically, I do not copy their styles but use bits and pieces of each in order to achieve my vision of what I am trying to do. For me, true art is the application of self to any medium no matter what your specific style is!

It was after the war that I began to develop my own visual style. My oil paintings depict images of brightly colored, fragmented, yet organic flowing figures in a surreal landscape. To best describe my work I would have to say that each figure represents the feelings I had during the war, that all of us are fragmented; from each other, from nature, from the great creator - God!

This current showing is about a play on one word, Trinity, and through that word, exploring my war experience. I found it odd that in the early years of our development of the nuclear bomb that the code name for the first atomic bomb test, was called, “Trinity”. My thoughts then turned toward a higher definition of the Trinity which is of God, Son, and Holy Spirit. The extreme nature in the use of this one word (trinity) seemed perfect for my thoughts on fragmentation. Fragmentation grew from a single thought or series of thoughts, which were and still are manifested throughout my artistic style.

What many do not know is that I love to create in any form. One of my favorites is writing. Accompanying each painting I have included a poetic piece in this series. My intent is to explore my own thoughts and feelings in both the painting and poem. The enrichment and exploration of the work is yours to ponder.

Example of what you will see in the current show.

The Resurrection Garden

A shadow of evil
Approaching the forgotten soul.
The light
Burning brighter than a lump of coal.

Dark wanderings
Intent and purpose fail.
Enlightenment flowers
Beneath heaven, above hell.

Yesterdays crashing
Alone, cold, and bewildered.
She cries to her knees mashing
Resurrection with a word.

This light
Away from dark entities.
Away from dark enemies
In the warmth of Gods might.
Jody / 2011's.sake.

Posted on | Thursday, August 18, 2011 | No Comments

Do you remember drawing or painting as a child? Do you remember simply creating because you liked the color or the shape? I know that I haven't thought of my childhood for a while - especially the artistic aspects of it until this past Saturday. 

Last Saturday a few artists gathered outside of Athens Arts Gallery to create. A few of us painted on the sidewalk, literally with chalk. I grew up in a rural area without sidewalks and you know what? I had never done this before. Sure I drew lines for hop scotch once or twice in my life but that was the extent of my sidewalk chalking experience. So, at age 45 I set out on a new adventure. Another youthful spirit decided to create along with me and we joyfully chalked in the sun. How simple this was yet I couldn't help but think that I wasn't that child of 5 who simply creates because she likes the color - there was more to it. I wanted my picture to make some sort of sense and I even solicited another artist to give me tips on shading. She asked me "where is your light source?" and honestly, I don't often think of where my light source is. In a way I may be more childlike than I thought, which I believe, may be a good thing.

Too often the attached responsibilities, rational thinking and creating art to "sell" makes artwork a little stale at times. Don't get me wrong, I desperately need to know where my light source is and the technical aspects of creating something correctly is needed. It's just every once in a while,

I would like to take art 

It can and is serious business especially if that is our only source of income and even when it's not, we can become so serious in projecting the meanings of our art that we lose the joy of creating. 

We can become intimidating to others and feel a need to explain in terms of articulated rhetoric that ends up just sounding silly and rather fluffy. I read in a post by Keith Garrow "…it's not an essay it's a painting. It encompasses and expresses things in a language that is unique to the medium of paint."  

Maybe we should let our art speak for itself? I go back and forth on this concept. I do believe that the creator of the art has a purpose whether the purpose is to convey a deep, emotional hurt that hasn't healed or just to show a new color that they mixed that looks lovely against another. Complex or simple it still has a meaning but let's focus on the simple for a moment. Just a short moment. Simplicity - like a child not tainted by life - creating art for art's sake.

I love that a child can tell you the reason they created a painting was simply because they wanted to or that they liked the color. There is a joy to the simplicity of creating for beauty. Beauty for the one creating. For the artist.

As we grow "up" we start knowing when things are "not right" technically and we even question - "is that art?"  We then create with a mind set of too much knowledge instead of trusting our own intuition and simply expressing our emotions and thoughts. We try to create something correct or what may "sell". 

But every once-in-a-while we should just create's.sake.

Picasso said it best I think…"it took me four years to paint like Raphael but a lifetime to paint like a child."


August Featured Artist: Mike Byers

Posted on | Monday, August 1, 2011 | 2 Comments

Glass artist Mike Byers showing in the special exhibit room for the entire month of August. Opening night August 5th - come meet the artist!

Artist Opening Friday,  August 5, 7:00pm - 9:00pm

About Mike in his own words:
I started working with stained glass in the early 1970s, and in 1986 I quit my job with an aircraft engineering company to work with glass full-time. I started Raven Glass Studio in Warrenton, Virginia in 1986, doing stained glass architectural commissions and with Michael Fulton, another Virginia artist, began to work with kiln-formed glass.

In 1992, my wife Pam and I moved to Indiana (about three miles from where I grew up, and a house that I had helped my brother build in 1976) where I was fortunate to obtain a grant from the Indiana Arts Commission to attend the glass fusing school in Colton, Oregon and study with Boyce Lundstrom and Jim Bowman. This school gave me the technical information I needed to make the pieces I had always imagined, and I soon found that my matted and framed kiln-formed pieces had become more of what I was doing than the stained glass panels. My grandmother had been an oil painter and had always encouraged me to paint and draw, and the semi-liquid nature of hot glass particularly appealed to me because it allowed for designs without the constraints of the lead lines of stained glass. I also found that I liked the effect of combining metals such as copper and sandblasted steel with the glass.

I enjoy working with other materials, too; often making pieces that are by no means traditional “art”. For the most part, these pieces will have an element of humor; frequently somewhat dark and cynical I must admit.

Since my larger glass pieces created a large quantity of small glass pieces that would otherwise be scrap, I started experimenting with smaller items such as jewelry, bottle stoppers, glass nail files and so forth. These are fun to make, and allow me to use some rather expensive glass pieces that I would hate to throw away.

My larger pieces are handled by Susie Gibbs Gallery in Lafayette, Indiana, by Sleepy Creek Vineyards (south of Oakwood, Illinois) and Sharon Owens’ Inspired Fire studio in Shadeland, Indiana, where I teach an introduction to glass fusing several times a year.

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