Thursday, February 9, 2012

Visual Chapbook

I would have never thought that a month of plein air painting (painting outside) would culminate into a catalog. The whole process from beginning to end was both nerve-wracking and exhilarating. The way I talk about this might give the impression that it is a 500-page hardback. I have had a major book before written by a museum curator and published by a university press but, I had little input or control.

Alfred Currier: Glacier National Park 101 is a small intimate part of my life, in the summer of 2011. It is a quiet introspective with nature, a much-needed sabbatical from studio painting.

So, what's the fuss? Well, several discussions have surfaced lately about plein air painting and what qualifies a painting to be called "plein air". For the record, these works were started and finished on location with the exception of two that were the victim of a weather change at the very end. Now, some might say that if they painted from a photo, it's a plein air painting. Others might say that if it were started outside, it qualifies. And, one established plein air painter told me that 80% had to be accomplished while painting plein air.

I find all of this amusing, who cares? It's from within and how you, the artist, feel about what you do. I was moved by the beauty of the park, a visual commune so to speak. ...and the majesty of it all.

Through several conversations in the park, it became apparent that some of our leaders want to privatize our National Parks under the guise of being fiscally responsible. I find this appalling as it could open these sacred lands up for mining and degradation of our park system. This was the motivating factor for producing this visual chapbook. We need to keep our parks safe for our children's and grandchildren's sake. Amy Marquis, Associate Editor of National Parks Magazine wrote further on this topic in the preface of this catalog.

This visual chapbook will be released during my Glacier show reception this Saturday evening, Feb 11, 2012 at Howard/Mandville Gallery, Kirkland Washington. You are invited. I will give a short talk at 6:30pm followed by a book signing.

Books will be available from my website, after Feb 12.

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