We are almost exactly one-month from the opening of The Wild Bunch, which stars K. Henderson, Robert Caldwell and Paul Rhymer. I mentioned it last week at the end of the blog, but you know how it is. Maybe you didn’t see last week’s blog.
Here is the showlowdown:
Wildlife. Wild paintings. Wild sculpture. Wild art.
On November 8, 2014, 10am to 5pm, that’s what you can expect from Paul Rhymer, K. Henderson and Robert Caldwell. We’re calling them … The Wild Bunch, and they are the next exhibition from Lovetts Gallery.
Paul Rhymer spent 25 years at the Smithsonian as a taxidermist and uses that experience to create bronze sculptures that capture the living essence of the animals.
“Twenty five years doing taxidermy and model making really prepared me well as a wildlife sculptor,” says Rhymer. “Being exposed to an incredible diversity of specimens and curatorial knowledge gave me a wealth of experiences. I still do some taxidermy to keep up with anatomy and reference for my sculpture.”
He’ll be pouring molten bronze the day of the show, probably in nothing more protective than jeans and hiking boots. The first will be at 11am, the second at 2pm.
You want wild? K Henderson lives off the grid in Weed, New Mexico (population: 86). She spends her time soaking up the wilderness and creating paintings of whatever she feels like, from biscuits to antique toys to Native American portraits.
Henderson is much lauded and collected. She has some renown in at least three completely different art circles. You’d compare her to a best-selling author who’s achieved success using three different pen names.
Henderson is from Tulsa, and always looks forward to her trips back to see her friends and family. (We think that includes us ... )
Robert Caldwell always loved the outdoors, exulting in his adventures as a Boy Scout. It was only natural he merged that passion with another – drawing.
Caldwell draws inspiration from North American and African wildlife. He’s made several trips to the Continent the past few years, and the artwork he’s produced as a result is among the best of his career.
In the past year, Robert published a book about drawing, Draw Realistic Animals: Wildlife, Pets and More, which is available from all the major online book retailers. He will have copies available during the show.
Quoth the Raven
We’ve got a raven theme going, for a lot of reasons. First, we like them. If you did a little bit of research on ravens, they would blow you mind. They use tools. They visit their parents. They remember things forever and they use language. Then there’s this:
I don’t know about you, but when I was in 8th grade, my English teacher, Mrs. Smith, made us memorize The Raven in its entirety. And then we had to recite it aloud in front of the class. In spite of that, I still love that poem.
Guy Hobbs, one of our new artists, painted this particular piece. It is not a poster. It is not a photo of a raven with some words photoshopped onto it. Guy painted the bird and applied the calligraphy by hand. And it is stunning.
Guy is a … well, he lives in Canada, but he’s British. He had always had a love for both art and wildlife, and when his wife suggested he combine these things to make his personal superpower … I’ll just let him say it:
It amazes me that it took so long for me to marry my love for wildlife with my passion for art. Obviously it takes far smarter people than me to make such profound connections (in this case my wife), but once made it changed my world.
I have had an interest in both drawing and painting my whole life and when the suggestion was made to focus on wildlife I decided to go 'back to the drawing board' quite literally.
Since then I have been developing a technique that combines layers of acrylic paint, coloured (editor’s note: see, British!) pencil and transparent acrylic inks, a process that really allows me to capture the subtleties and intricacies of nature.
My highest priority when portraying a subject is to capture its consciousness. My subjects are engaged with their world, watching things beyond the confines of a frame - often regarding the viewer directly - or something out of frame. This is important to me, birds and animals are seldom random or vague, they are focused on their world with real intensity. It is this intensity I want to capture. When you encounter a wild thing in its own habitat there is a moment where you regard it and it regards you and the rest of the world just becomes background. That is a very real and special connection and one I want to share through my art.
Let that serve as your introduction to Guy, Lovetts fans. His work is on display in the gallery. You know what to do.
Behind the Screens
We have a lot of original art by a lot of amazing artists, but you know that.
Most of that art is on our walls, but there’s not room for all of it. We rotate it all the time, but the truth is there’s art that, at any given time, is not hanging in the gallery.
The solution to that conundrum has always been our giant monitor on the front counter. From there, we can access all of any given artist’s work in our database and display it. As with all computer screens, you can’t replicate the experience of seeing a piece of art in person, but it was better than nothing.
We’ve been using the monitor a lot, like to the point where we view it is vital to the Lovetts Gallery experience. Keeping that in mind, this happened this week:
Jack: “Do you think we need a bigger monitor on the front counter?”
Me: (something like…) “It couldn’t hurt.”
Jack: “I wonder if we could find one with our points.”
Me: (Holy crap, businesses rack up the credit card points) “That would be cool.”
He dug into the points, and we had enough. Then we found the monitor.
Now when you come in and want to peruse our digital image gallery, you’ll be doing it on a bright 42” high-def television. Made me super TV jealous. I bought a 42” hdtv seven years ago. It weighs more than twice as much, the picture isn’t as good and it cost four times as much as this one.
Anyway, the new monitor is awesome.
If you haven’t been in in awhile, we’ve made a lot of gallery improvements: The walls received a new interior paint job; we installed LED lights in the front windows that look awesome at night (and can change colors to suit our mood); we created new front-window covers that look better from the parking lot with the added bonuses of blocking out more light inside (which makes it easier to present the art) and displaying some of our artist’s work in larger-than-life sizes. Present are: Jeff Ham, Timothy Nimmo, Brett Lethbridge, Timur Akhriev, K. Henderson, Claudia Patrick, Natalie Featherston, Ben Cobb, Ann Hanson, David Shingler, Scott French and Chad Awalt.
Two More Things
Brett Lethbridge missed the show last month (because sometimes, travel plans do not work out), but he'll be here the afternoon before Halloween. If you'd like to come visit Brett and talk with him about his work, he'll be entertaining guests from 4-6pm, Oct. 30, 2014.
In closing, I’ll just leave this here, and we’ll see you next week: