Reclamation

Reclamation

If you know much about my art, then you probably know that I do a lot of work that relates back to pipes in some way. Well, here is the very first piece I did about pipes. It was for a quick assignment in one of my early painting classes, but I continued on with it and it became a jumping off point for many other pieces. To be fair, I did use some pipes for the ribs in Organically Challenged which was before this one, but that was just an accent point of the piece. Reclamation is completely about the pipes. The layout is completely freestyle from my head. By that, I mean I didn’t use any imagery or even a ruler to lay it out. It wasn’t as much about making realistic looking pipes, as it was about evoking an emotion using the “essence” of the pipes. I did this with dramatic colors and layering to try and give it an old, abandoned feeling while at the same time leaving a bad taste in your mouth, as if they were somehow poisoned. I’m not sure if that explanation makes any sense, but that is what I was feeling when I was painting it and I wanted to convey that to the viewer. Keep in mind, I was also making Course of Empire at about the same time and if you read the description of that piece you will see that I was dealing with the extinction of the human race. Through this extinction, the environment would reclaim our ruins and use them for its own purposes such as evolving new species and whatnot.

I don’t think I ever submitted this painting to any major shows, but I did put it in a little exhibition I was asked to do at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Charleston, WV for Earth Day. It just so happens that the piece sold to a visiting priest who interpreted it in a completely different way than I had intended. She took the diverging and converging pipes as the different roads she had taken to God. I thought that was really neat that someone else loved the painting for something I had never even thought about. I think that is one of the many wonderful things about art, it can always surprise you. The other kind of interesting thing that happened at that show was that the painting wouldn’t fit in the space vertically as I had intended it, so I changed the wiring to hang it horizontally instead because it seemed to work either way. I explained this to the lady that bought it and offered to change it back, but she preferred it the way it was, so I assume that it still, to this day, hangs horizontally.