Nicholas Baxter

April Magazine Exposure

By sheer coincidence I have paintings featured in 2 magazines this month, both from my ongoing Apostasy series.

The painting Hand Of God II graces the inside back cover of anarchist journal Rolling Thunder #11 (with a beautiful 7-word interpretation offered by the editor), while a newer painting Sacrament (Vanitas) causes queasiness on the front cover of Tattoo Artist Magazine #37.

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Hand Of God II, oil on panel, 36 x 48 inches, 2013

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“The operation succeeded, but the patient died.”

To see some progress shots of the following painting, revisit my previous blog post about it.

Sacrament (Vanitas)

Sacrament (Vanitas), oil on panel, 17 x 22 inches, 2013

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Sacrament (detail)

TAM37

 

Finding Your Heart Again

Recent artwork and graphic design for Bronx, NY band Daly’s Gone Wrong.

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CD with trifold insert and 11 x 17 poster.

The imagery and design concept was based on the title (and overarching theme) of the record, Finding Your Heart Again. I created a pair of heart paintings to symbolize the emotional transformation implied in the title, and centered them in a clean, spacious layout. I avoided black (except in the barcode), instead using a medium warm gray for all text, creating a subtler look reminiscent of having to search and find. The modern but elegantly delicate Proxima Nova Light typeface was used throughout, with the forward slash character ( / ) emphasized as a text-organizing device.

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I wanted to add some interest to the title and create a visual play on the phrase ‘gone wrong’ in the band name, so I inserted a capital X over the second letter O. This calls forth the feeling of classic typewriter corrections and is reminiscent of the ever-present modern ‘no’ symbol (further emphasized throughout the text with the aforementioned slashing character).

The pair of hearts I painted for this album were the start of a new series of heart paintings that I hope to exhibit later this year. Stay tuned for updates on that project.

Notes & Advice 7

I came across this great quote the other day from the duo behind The Artist’s Road website and thought to share, since it beautifully summarizes the often overlooked everyday struggle most artists face: to find our purpose for creating and to create something of originality and value to others. To bring a grounded perspective to this existential riddle of sorts, they remind us of the valuable (and also overlooked) societal role of the artist, and finish by describing a helpful personal practice I’ve been using for years.

“So it is with artists, oil painting artists, draftsmen, and creative people of all stripes. Creating something that never existed before, even if it is only within our own personal world, is our job description. It is our reason for being and we believe that by sharing our efforts publicly, we serve the greater good, despite cultural and economic signals to the contrary. Economic support for what we do is useful, but not a measure of the value of our ideas.

“Historically, culture often lags behind the ideas and efforts of the artistic community. How could it not? Ideas move at two hundred miles an hour across the synapses of the brain, and giving physical form to our ideas need not take long. The key for all of us is to keep dreaming and imagining and believing in our vision, no matter what. We are the privileged ones, whose daring role it is to look at the disparate parts of the world and “connect the dots” into a new creation. This takes some courage, and discipline.

“Fear is the enemy, and fear is the only force that can limit, and sometimes kill, creativity. We cannot allow fears of criticism or failure or economic losses to enter our studios and interfere with our creativity. We must carve out a sacred space or time within which we can be temporarily free of these fears and concerns, so that our imagination can be free to wander and dream. We have found meditation to be a powerful tool for sweeping the mental clutter into the corner so that we can walk around in our imaginations. Our art has improved because of this discipline. It is always the first 30 minutes of any day for us.”

–John Hulsey & Ann Trusty