The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) and the New Art Center (NAC) will present the 2016 Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellows in Painting, Choreography, Drawing & Printmaking, and Traditional Arts on September 16-October 15, 2016, at the NAC. Andrew Moore, one of the award-winning painters in the exhibit, shares how his paintings join the observed world with personal histories, the unseen, and the life of the mind.
I had been designing this painting of my daughter, Hannah, in my mind throughout her childhood. I wanted this portrait to reveal the physical character that she would carry into her adult life, so I waited until she turned eighteen to begin. The painting is also about her childhood, referencing important elements. In the background is the path to my studio, our small orchard, a split rail fence supporting grapevines and, in the distance, the ocean. Hannah is a young painter and she looks out at you as an artist – studying you and contemplating. I bought the umbrella when I was a teenager. I have always known that I kept it around for something important. There is also a halo suggested in the wear of the umbrella’s linen – I’ve always loved those thin lines of light encircling Leonardo Da Vinci’s and Raphael’s portraits.
A man lives two days with each one. The first is of the body. Here, man explores his world through his senses. The second day is of the mind, where mind turns physical experience to spiritual understanding and growth. My paintings attempt the whole day – the concrete and the abstract.
I am a New England artist. Important to me is our history of painters whose lives and work are inseparable. As a fisherman, sailor, and self-taught naturalist, I am involved in the changes of season, time and weather and the resulting activities of man and nature in coastal New England. How can an artist not live what he paints? If he does not, his work contains no life.
I am also a representational painter. For me, this tie to the real is not a crutch. Any successful painting must have an abstract strength: a clear understanding of composition, form, color and the many other tools of design. In addition, though, representational painting explores the concrete, the world underfoot. Understanding this world is complex. Stare at a small area of shoreline and consider the materials, textures, colors, shapes, and patterns. Then consider such effects as light, time, season, weather, and what you were thinking about as you stood there. The impression changes. What is the constant? The constant is the whole day, a combination of the abstract and concrete. This is what I attempt to paint.
See Andrew Moore’s paintings at the upcoming exhibition 2016 Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellows in Painting, Choreography, Drawing & Printmaking, and Traditional Arts. Opening Reception: Friday, September 16, 6-8 PM. New Art Center, 61 Washington Park Newtonville, MA, 02460
Image credit: All images courtesy of Andrew Moore.