Tag Archives: Jackson Hole Galleries

Painting to Listen; John Potter’s Dream

John Potter “Walking Tall in the Beartooths,” Oil 7×10″

“Painting for me is a form of communication with our Creator, and of gratitude as well; for the life and beauty brought forth on this Earth, especially in our remaining wild places. Because of this, I feel a sense of responsibility for the privilege of painting, for the gift of the craft. Many painters are out there trying to be heard – I paint to listen.” – John Potter

Stay tuned, please, for this important message.

Plein air painter John Potter doesn’t reside in Jackson Holehe’s a Montana man and an Ojibwe. But his presence here is strong. He has many deep friendships, and though he doesn’t like to be the center of attention, his clear spirit, gorgeous paintings, humor, consideration, and deep connection to Nature often make him so. He dedicates his life to celebrating the land and what it provides.

Unfortunately, all too often Nature’s voice falls on deaf ears, even when calling out to us with all its majestic power. We urgently need to practice listening. We need to hear those who Nature has chosen to pass on its messages, and messages often appear as dreams.

Recently, Potter had an apocolyptic dream; a nightmare. He’s graciously given permission to share it with you. Potter’s dream is Mother Earth (She is simply the mother; there is nothing separate from her. All things come from her, return to her, and are her.- Encyclopedia Britannica) calling us to bear witness.

Miigwetch, John.

John Potter, “Walking Among Giants.” Oil 14×48″

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The Secret Life of Lance Letscher

“Once there was a boy whose head was filled with ideas. He loved to draw and think.” The Perfect Machine by Lance Letscher. Courtesy the upcoming documentary, “The Secret Life of Lance Letscher.”

“He meticulously organizes and stores these weathered materials, which he later surgically deconstructs and deploys, creating new narratives from shards of past memory.” Excerpt from Lance Letscher’s Bio. 

Lance Letscher, Big Eye

Broke a promise. Said I’d comment on the Tayloe Piggott Gallery Lance Letscher event, and now that the show has only another week on exhibit, I recommend, if you haven’t already, go and see this collection.

Letscher’s show, “Untroubled Mind,” appears to reflect a very troubled mind. A mind sliced, diced, hard-stapled together as to not fall apart, an infinity of dreams and visions swept together in concise, pointy, intricate patterns. Letscher’s collages are reminiscent in style of Hieronymus Bosch’s tumultuous and foreboding paintings, but Letscher’s works don’t convey what Bosch did: Letscher’s works are puzzles, visual crosswords and brilliant colors make them a joy to study. Men’s and women’s shoes, watches, film canisters, a myriad of containers, baby items, body parts, silverware; these are just a few images repeatedly appearing in Letscher’s art. Often he arranges his printed and cut slivers like Japanese paper umbrellas or fans.

Lance Letscher, Tulip Painter

Opening night, attendees took in an edited version of The Secret Life of Lance Letscher, a documentary about the artist. Letscher is shy, but his art speaks volumes.

Take a look: http://www.indiewire.com/2015/11/the-secret-life-of-lance-letscher-goes-inside-the-mind-of-work-of-a-collage-artist-50297/

Tears welled up. Creativity so often springs from grief, memories, the confusions and heartbreak of childhood, loss. Emotional attachments, questions unanswered. Tangled up in our brains, we think of them….but they roll away, hidden under a rug, floating into the air. An artist practicing any form may swear to recall those phantom feelings and use them….but they’re gone. We can’t present them. We can’t organize them and put them out in the open in any sort of orderly way; it’s almost impossible to  hang on to life’s minutia.

But Letscher can, and does.

Lance Letscher. Courtesy Austin Chronicle

That’s his brilliance and his bravery. He did not cotton to that stage, and I think he knew that after seeing the film, questions from the audience would be hard to elicit. What could we say?  It was a huge gift. Letscher has catalogued and dealt with life through his extraordinary art. He’s found a way to create art deeply personal, evocative and startling. And he’s able to EXPLAIN it to us. He’s held on, cut out every sliver of metal and paper, used industrial staples and turned tumult into peace.

And when you have peace, you are untroubled.

www.tayloepiggottgallery.com  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/907172962/the-secret-life-of-lance-letscher-a-documentary-fi

The Red Road: Valkyries and Medicine Men at Altamira Fine Art

R. Tom Gilleon, Valkyrie. Oil, 32 x 24 inches

R. Tom Gilleon, Valkyrie. Oil, 32 x 24″. At Altamira Fine Art.

Valkyries. Often portrayed as beneficent creatures, their role as the God Odin’s daughters (or female assistants) in Norse mythology is deciding which warriors die and which survive great battles. Those who perish are flown to Odin’s Valhalla by the valkyries, so that he may watch over them.

“Whether in their loving or bloodthirsty modalities, the valkyries are best understood as part of the extensive and dynamic complex of shamanism that permeates pre-Christian Germanic religion,” notes the web page Norse Mythology for Smart People.

R. Tom Gilleon’s “Valkyrie” elicits a tumbling mass of confliciting emotion. Is this a wise and beneficent angel of Odin or a bloodthirsty footman? Is she grounded or hovering? Is she watching over a particualar soldier or pensive? And how does this mythological Norse shaman legend translate to Native American symbols and culture?

How many battles were waged as white men overtook Indian lands, livelihood and very soul? Too many to count. Gilleon uses an ancient character to make a statement about today’s world crises, too many to count. But I choose to believe Gilleon’s valkyrie is a compassionate, helping spirit, ready to protect. Ready to carry our souls to safety.

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Landscapes As Muse

Susan Vecsey Untitled (Yellow) Oil. 36x44"

Susan Vecsey Untitled (Yellow) Oil. 36×44″

 

“Susan Vecsey: A Selection of Paintings” opens at the Tayloe Piggott Gallery on August 20th. An opening reception will be held that evening, 6-8:00pm, and the show remains on display through October 10th, 2015.

American artist Susan Vecsey was born in 1971 (so young!) and during her (to we “boomers”) short time on earth she’s developed a gorgeous liquid painting style. In this show, only one painting I can recall contains hard color field delineations. A person could gaze at Vecsey’s work a long, peaceful while.

These works are the sort we used to see at Piggott’s Gallery on a regular basis, in its former life as the J.H. Muse Gallery. We’re back in the land of exciting color, color, color! Hooray!

Helen Frankenthaler immediately comes to mind. It turns out she’s on Vecsey’s mind, too.

Susan Vecsey "Study for Morning Light at Northwest Harbor, East Hampton. 2012" Oil on Paper, 11.5 x14.5"

Susan Vecsey “Study for Morning Light at Northwest Harbor, East Hampton. 2012″ Oil on Paper, 11.5 x 14.5”

 

“The reflection of the 1960s New York art movement of Color Field painting is very present in her work. In particular, the work of Helen Frankenthaler is a major influence and inspiration,” writes Piggott. “Color Field painters apply color in large one dimensional swaths across a large canvas, or ‘field’…. (Her) work takes a cue from “Lyrical Abstraction”, which situates abstraction in a landscape context. The allusion of landscape—hills, fields, horizon lines, seas and skies is suggested in the abstract form of her work.”

Susan Vecsey, Untitled (Pink) 2013, Oil on linen

Susan Vecsey, Untitled (Pink) 2013, Oil on linen

 

The works feel “large scale”~~however, Vescey’s paintings vary in size.

Richly pigmented, Vescey’s paintings emerge one at a time, “single file.” Interesting linen textures are allowed to emerge. And although her paintings are a compilation of small selections of color, Vecsey makes extreme effort to reach the intensity of color she wants.

Enchanting. We are thirsty for this level of work, and like a mirage it will disappear. Walk towards it. www.tayloepiggottgallery.com

Susan Vecsey, Untitled (Orange / Pink) 2014, Oil on linen

Susan Vecsey, Untitled (Orange / Pink) 2014, Oil on linen

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A very different kind of landscape show is on exhibit, beginning this week at Trio Fine Art. Please visit my author’s page, https://funthingstodoinjacksonhole.wordpress.com/2015/08/17/bill-sawczuks-big-country/  to read about Bill Sawczuk’s new show, “The Way I See It.”  

Todd Kosharek: Peace in the Valley

Todd Kosharek: "Provisions."

Todd Kosharek: “Provisions.”

“‘Provisions.’–Almost finished. Started it over two years ago. I love working on these large, long term paintings, life moving along as I paint them. So much gets absorbed into them.” ~ Todd Kosharek

Jackson artist Todd Kosharek is, as we speak, finishing up the last of two new pieces for his next solo show, “Folded: Symbol.” The exhibition opens August 1st at Daly Projects Gallery and is comprised, Kosharek shares, of ten new paintings exploring the symbolism of origami cranes as a symbol for Peace. The show remains up through the month.

“These paintings are the ones that explore the idea of Peace in various forms,” Kosharek writes. “Peace through principle, peace through expression, peace through practice – these are the titles of some of the paintings in the show. Some works explore these ideas as actual documents folded into cranes; some explore more abstractly. I’m also showing four of my latest portraits, including “Golden Boy,” my first portrait of (my son) Weston.”

Todd Kosharek - Peace Through Principle. 14x26"

Todd Kosharek – Peace Through Principle. 14×26″

Kosharek has been so busy researching, designing and painting he’s barely had time to photograph his work. A miraculous ability to balance daily family life — he is a new father — and paint to near perfection, not concerning himself with the length of time he puts into a work, is evident. One work, “Peace Through Practice – The Nobel Peace Prize” depicts origami cranes imprinted with the words of Alfred Nobel, Martin Luther King, Jimmy Carter, Gorbachev and the Dali Lama. All in their original handwriting.

“Provisions” is a masterpiece. It has the detailed mystery of a Zen garden; thousands of stories folded into one. A dining room set is at once anchored and weightless. Kosharek sets the scene by nesting rectangles inside of one another, each leading the eye to where it needs to go. Cranes rest at each place, and below the floor-table are more cranes, more “provisions.” What look like artist’s supplies are painted lower left~~a self-portrait? We’re looking inside Kosharek’s mind, his spirituality. Though this interior is dark, curtains part to reveal a bright, snowy scene. Against the window is a bare, dead tree. But beyond it is a lush forest of evergreens, a snowy white path to wherever Kosharek wants to travel. “Provisions” is at once mysterious, a bit prophetic and…peaceful. www.toddkosharek.com

Todd Kosharek. "Peace Through Transcendence. 10x16"

Todd Kosharek. “Peace Through Transcendence. 10×16”