Thursday, August 23, 2018

Artists Inspired by Artists!

The title of our current show at the gallery, “Under the Influence”, is likely to elicit some sort of curiosity and interest. The phrase may carry some connotations, but in the case of this show, “influence” could ultimately be replaced by “inspiration”. When faced with a blank canvas, where does one start? The artists in this show all share a similar starting point: the permission to overtly draw inspiration another artist.

In seeking inspiration from the particular style, subject matter, and/or technique of another artist, the artists in this show have each created unique works of art that combine personal style with an undercurrent of homage. In order to fully appreciate all the works in this show, it's worthwhile to take a look at the influences that inspired the works. 

Kim Floyd's three paintings in this show, "Popcorn", "Moon Mist", and "Creamsicles" are bright with vivid, saturated candy-like colors that depicting treats that look ready to eat. 

"Popcorn" by Kim Floyd, Acrylic on board 6"x 8"

"Moon Mist" by Kim Floyd
"Creamsicles" by Kim Floyd, Acrylic on board 10" x 12"

The artist Kim looked to for inspiration was Wayne Thiebaud, an American painter who is best known for his colorful depictions of tasty confections and everyday objects. Thiebaud is often mistakenly associated with the Pop Art Movement, but many of his works actually predate the movement, and do not focus of mass culture iconography. 

"Confections" Wayne Thiebaud, 1962
"Four Cupcakes" Wayne Thiebaud, 1971

Kim's work incorporates the bold use of color and well-defined, almost graphic shadows typical of Thiebaud's work. While Thibaud's subject matter often include diner-style comfort food like homemade pies, cakes, and ice-cream sundaes, Kim's paintings feature more modern and ready-made treats typical of a trip to the local convenience store or supermarket. A fun fact, Moon Mist ice cream (the subject of one of Kim's painting's) is a flavour of ice-cream that originated some 40 years ago, and is currently exclusive to Nova Scotia!  

"Pies, Pies, Pies" Wayne Thiebaud, 1961.
Anne Marie MacEachen is another artist in the show who also drew inspiration from Thiebaud. Aside from food, Thiebaud is also known for his figure and still life paintings depicting everyday objects. Anne Marie's painting, "Always a Bridesmaid" features a crimson-colored gown. It hangs against a clean background, with a defined shadow cast just below the hem of the dress. 

"Always a Bridesmaid" Anne Marie MacEachen, Oil on Canvas, 16" x 20".

The piece truly pays homage to Thiebaud's use of highly pigmented colors and study of shadow that gives his pieces an almost graphic look. 

"Yellow Dress" by Wayne Thiebaud, 1974

Being able to catch a glimpse into what inspires the creation of a work of art can often help us gain a greater understanding and appreciation for it. If you haven't yet made it to see "Under the Influence", add it to your to-do list - the fun and quirky selection of works will surely inspire!

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