Greg Hargreaves, Waterloo, IA. (Artist
It's difficult to describe what
actually occurs as the artist broods over the a raw canvas facing
him. For me, the dialog that plays out is between myself (the
artist), the environment (the landscape), and the medium (the
paint). I suppose we could include the canvas, as well, but the
canvas really is just inviting us over to his house.The painting
assumes a more subordinate (non speaking) role and stays pretty
much out of the way; in the background (no pun intended) while
the three of us tackle the business at hand.
Sometimes I haven't a clue where
the conversation will lead, or who will dominate. Sometimes I
know exactly where I want the discourse to go. At those times,
I try to manhandle the conversation, to steer it along paths predetermined.
At other times I listen more, and let other more "intuitive"voices
Sometimes the landscape is simply
to powerful to be ignored and both the paint and I acquiesce,
rollover and give the landscape its head. Other times the paint
is more vocal and demands to be recognized and then both the landscape
and I retire. Tomorrow is after all, another day.
Why do I include landscape and
paint in this process?
My environment (Iowa) is home.
Pastoral, bucolic, lush, green, and harnessed. For me, the reassuring
theme is that the viewer is always aware of mans presence when
looking at an Iowa landscape. Those ridged fence rows, and squared
off rectangular fields and woodlots present a never ending source
of design possibilities. Reassuring us that we are never that
far away from civilization, food, comfort and man. In Iowa the
wildness is still there, but subdued. It has been harnessed and
there is something deeply comforting in that.
My medium is acrylic. It affords
me a flexible, workable, durable and dependable conduit. I say
conduit because after a 35 year career using acrylics, it has
become an old friend who knows my mind better than I do. We have
reached an understanding. I demand that it dry immediately and
it does; and it watches me goof up repeatedly and never says a
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