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I have always admired the meticulously detailed work of the 15th century German artist, Albrecht Durer. I have read that “his genius lay mainly in his draughtsmanship” and he has been described as “the greatest mind that ever expressed itself in line”. The 20th century abstract expressionist Marc Rothko’s use of color and value gradations in his later work attracts me – his abstract work is said to be very spiritual.
Salvador Dali’s “Rose Meditative” and Rene Magritte’s La Chateau des Pyrenees”, “Le Seize Septembre” and “L’entrée en Scene” all use imagery found in nature to create a symbolism that speaks to the viewer’s unconscious self. These have been a strong influence as Edward Hopper’s themes of solitude and introspection.
Aquinas College: Grand Rapids, Michigan
2005 M.M. School of Management
Concentration: Arts Management; Art Curriculum Development
Western Michigan University: Kalamazoo, Michigan
1978 – 1983 Graduate Studies, Department of Art
Western Michigan University: Kalamazoo, Michigan
1972 Bachelors Degree, Department of Art
I am an artist and teacher. I joined the faculty at Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC) in 2000. I am a founding member of the academic unit the Center for New Media there where I currently teach design and illustration classes. Before joining KVCC I worked in the corporate/private sector as a graphic design and illustrator. I have been fortunate to receive a number of awards for my illustration and fine art; notable are two International Awards of Excellence from the Society of Technical Communications and the award of Best of Show in the 2013 Carnegie Center for the Arts Juried Regional Competition.
My artwork has been selected for numerous juried shows and is represented in many private collections. I have been an artist in residence at the Burren College of Art in Ireland. My most recent solo exhibitions were in It Skildershuis Atelier in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands, The Burren College of Art, Ireland and Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Artistic Insights and Techniques
I was educated as a fine artist using the traditional media for painting and drawing, working as a graphic designer and illustrator I became involved in digital media. My current work is created with both traditional and digital media. I label my work “mixed media” and list the media in the order of its use in the creation of the artwork. Traditional media is used in 90% of the artwork’s creation. When the traditional media aspect is finished I scan the artwork at a high resolution and digitally add elements, textures and paint in colors. I print them in small limited edition print ranges of 3 or 10.
What I hope I can accomplish with my art.
From my experiences I see that many of us in western civilization are living in a wasteland of sorts. What do I mean by “wasteland”? The author Nigel Pennick tells us that through our human history and ancestry we have had a collective relationship with the landscape. He explains that we are not separate for the landscape – we are part of it. Reality is what we walk, see, touch and experience. Pennick states the “wasteland” comes when the living landscape is rejected or ignored and when humans, in favor of material wealth, abandon the spiritual aspect of nature.
The northern and western European folk tradition and our own Native American tradition are particularly rich in tales regarding this spiritual aspect of nature or the “spirit of the land”. I have traveled throughout 17 countries that share this folk tradition and experienced this atmosphere or presence in the landscape that seems to exists beyond the realm of my modern human cognizance. In my work I am striving to visually communicate this spirit or soul of a place that I have witnessed along with the human collective relationship with the landscape. I attempt not to reproduce what I see through my eyes but create a visual representation of what I experience. The artwork visually displays a personal sense of spiritual connection and an invisible and inaudible communication. It is created to honor all the living things that exist in every aspect of the landscape. Overall, the imagery in my artwork is meant to represent a sense of life with no limitations of space and time; a sharing of spirit; mind and heart; a spiritual recognition and belonging; a joining in an ancient and eternal way.
Posted on April 21, 2013 at 8:48am 0 Comments 1 Like
Excellent work. i especially like your studies of natural scenes
Thank you for your comment! I really like your piece "Ameland Treeline: March Palette." No, I do not mix natural media with digital. I use mixed VIRTUAL natural media, mostly in Corel Painter which synthesizes various natural media beautifully (but also crashes a lot on my MAC). I do my painting with a wacom tablet and electronic stylus, and will string my images through different software packages to get the effects I want. Occasionally I will integrate a scan of a part of one of my natural media works.
It's always hard to know how to describe the medium when digital is involved. Personally, if I were you, I would not say "watercolor, chalk, ...etc." because those substances do not end up in your finished product (if I understand you correctly). I think saying that would give the viewer/buyer/juror a false expectation.
Thank you for your feedback! If you are interested, I am also on Facebook: Stephen F.Tipton...I usually post my recent work there...for my, "art" I use my MN: Farrell. Most of the folks I know are not "artists" but I enjoy hearing how they feel about what I do... Much of my work over that past several years has been "of a religious nature", although I am not, I find the "evocative" part of "art"....making one feel a certain/different way is important to my purpose/process, rather than "oh, isn't that pretty"...and I guess, nothing is quite as evocative as the unknown. Been into Hearts since visiting a superb exhibition along those lines. I will post a couple more pics to my new Artist2Artist site...also look to see what you do. Cheers, Farrell
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