My art show starting this week at Wild Joe’s Coffee House in downtown Bozeman, Montana, displays the above four paintings. The installation has my following artist’s statement.
CHARACTERS OF SOLITUDE
I have been making art for over 40 years, painting, drawing, and
printmaking. I have painted from my travels in Central America and
Mexico, the objects that I collect around me, and my life and family
history in Montana.
“Alpenglow And Moonrise” was created from seeing the moon over the
Bridgers as the sun is setting. I usually isolate one figure in a minimal
landscape. The girl is painted with a round, moon-face, and her eyes
are turned to portray her awareness of the moon over her shoulder.
“Pete And Haystack” is my uncle Peter Flynn, a working man, son of an
Irish immigrant. Pete escaped the coal mines of Pennsylvania to be in
the clean air of Montana. He was in WWI, and because he was a
country boy, he was made a runner. His lungs were permanently
scarred by mustard gas. I placed him in the type of landscape we see
in our rural state, with windbreaks of trees, and haystacks, and lollipop
shaped trees from cattle grazing beneath them.
“Esther In Winter” is a mysterious figure. She looks like a boy at first,
with her hair tucked under a flat cap and her grey overcoat. The snow
field and sky become a landscape because of the hinted trees on the
horizon. Esther’s red lips are my favorite part of this painting, the hint that
she is a woman, not a boy, A bit of curling hair peaks out above her ear.
“Great Northern Railway Agent” was inspired by my father. He followed
his older relatives to Montana to work for the Great Northern. The many
wooden grain elevators in the plains of the US and Canada are relics of
homesteading and farming days. My father started carrying ties for
laying track when he was 14, and retired as an agent and station master.
I remember my father telling me that at harvest time, when the grain
had to be shipped, it was often hard to get enough freight cars, as
the southern lines would keep the good Great Northern cars that were
not rotted by southern humidity. The figure portrays a railroad agent
who wears a suit and tie, in the environment of the farmers.
Thank you for viewing my work.