Sunday, July 18, 2010

Lighting a Fire

For those of you who've been following this blog, you know that early this year, I came off the road to domesticate yet again and get started on my portfolio for grad school application. The first few months I was home I didn't touch a paintbrush. A mix between being busy getting settled into my new place and laziness coupled with the thought that I had almost a year to complete 20 paintings resulted in me wasting a lot of time. Well now, my friends, I am feeling stressed. 6 paintings started. 1 completely done. 20 by winter. Yikes, indeed. I've started giving myself deadlines and disappointing friends by being antisocial. This week has been productive. And something that I have completely lost the feeling of, inspiration by a fellow artist, has come back into my life. Lighting a fire, so to speak.

I first heard of contemporary oil painter Luke Hillestad through a friend from high school. I looked at his work and was amazed by the way he evoked the classic masters of the medium but with a new, fresh dramatic light. I reached out to him (via Facebook) and he responded that day which really shocked me. A talented successful artist being open and willing to communicate with others?!?! No way! He mentioned a talk he was giving at the Vine Art Center about his time spent in Norway studying under Odd Nerdrum. I got to go, and boy was I happy I did. His paintings are beautiful online. But in person....they are much more emotional and lifelike. Much like my reaction when seeing my first Vermeer in person. I had always thought of Vermeer as incredibly talented, but a rough painter. However, in person, you literally are waiting for the subject to move off the canvas. Being so close to these masterful works was so inspiring. Please check out Luke's webpage and if you have the chance to see his work in person, I would highly suggest it. Such a local talent is hard to find!

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