Eric Aho, Naturalist, oil on linen, 82 x 108 inches (courtesy of the artist)
Ed Beem blogs about the exhibition Transcending Nature: Paintings by Eric Aho at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester NH, on view through September 9, 2012.
Beem writes "What intrigued me then and intrigues me now is the virtuosity with which Aho handles paint while modulating along a spectrum of descriptive fidelity from painterly realism to pure abstraction. He was a student of George Nick at MassArt and he retains an allegiance to the visible world, yet Aho is also able to free himself from the bonds of description to explore the way paint on canvas becomes its own landscape, every bit as real, perhaps even more so, as a picture of a landscape."
In a post lavishly illustrated with images of Shils monotypes, studio views of new paintings in progress and a video, Neil Plotkin interviews painter Stuart Shils about his work and his recent paintings and monotypes. Shils speaks personally and candidly about changing his work, the relationship between his prints and his paintings, and memory versus observation.
"...so these images, these residues, are distillations of memory that can only come with time. Unlike working directly in nature, maybe what monotypes offered me, from the beginning, was a way of reflecting on an aspect that was and is absolutely impossible to approach or to understand sitting in front of nature. And actually, the interrelationship between those two things is very complex... I had been trained as a painter to think that the only paintings that matter were the ones you make while you’re looking at something. I thought that was Gospel. When I first started making the monotypes in 1998, I was amazed to see what can happen with the back turned to nature. But what does looking at something really mean?"
Catherine Kehoe posts an interview with painter George Nick.
Nick comments: "In the beginning, I always felt I couldn't remake the world but I would like to try. I didn't know how so I tried different ways. I am still doing that. I am not that focused. I go out to paint. I look for something to paint. All these ideas stay in the background, out of sight, until I am through painting. I get ideas from the act of painting and it guides me either into a dogma or chaos. All my paintings start from what is seen. The painting marries in different ways and set up its own laws, which I try to deduce and follow. The awareness did not change the painting. The conclusions of the finished piece changed the process of translating the seen."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.