Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday Pick: Stephen Dinsmore

Lobster Traps, 2011, 16 x 20

City at Night, 2009, 14 x 14

Desk in Maine, 2008, 30 x 30

Oyster Bay Still Life, 2011, 16 x 20

Flowers, Seven Vases, 2011, 48 x 60

Porch Repose #3, 2008, 20 x 20

 I love these paintings by Stephen Dinsmore.  I have been trying to explain (and failing most of the time) to new drawing/painting students the importance of the abstract qualities to a work.  The color, composition etc are all what make for a good painting, subject matter is the smallest of components in that.  When I was looking at Stephen's work I was thinking he is a perfect example of this.  He can paint anything but there is always an understanding of the armature of the painting.  

I was somewhat freaked out to then read his 'about' page :

"For me painting means being always on the lookout for an image/idea that excites.
Sounds straightforward but it's nothing like a straight line. So many things count: the creamy light of late afternoon on landscape; the abstract beauty of marks on the side of a train car; new snow that reshapes all it touches; an interior filled with color and reverie; the riveting beauty of a vase of flowers; a fly fisherman in shadow; a disregarded corner of town; a found image...
I try to make a painting that has in it at least something of the magic and mystery of the thing; the alchemy; the thing that excites."

Of course I shouldn't have been because I know he is thinking about looking through formal to express content.  But the examples he gives are just so spot on. I'm going to take his work and words into class Monday.

Stephen Dinsmore is a painter living and working in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Much more of his work can be viewed at his website, here.


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