Nicholas Baxter

Blog posts tagged “Sacrificial”

National Juried Trompe l’oeil Exhibition

I’m honored to have two paintings on display at the John F. Peto Museum in Island Heights, NJ as part of their national juried show, described on their website:

“The John F. Peto Studio Museum invites artists working in the trompe l’oeil style to participate in its National Juried Show of Contemporary Trompe l’oeil. The purpose of this exhibition is to showcase contemporary art work that ‘fools the eye’ and demonstrates the innovative ways in which artists continue to express themselves through trompe l’oeil.”

Trompe L'oeil Poster

I’m glad they appreciated my contemporary and edgy take on the classic trompe l’oeil look, as I attempt to merge the traditional and modern into one presentation. The pieces chosen for the exhibit:

"Denial Vanitas", oil on panel, 11 x 14in, 2012

“Denial Vanitas”, oil on panel, 11 x 14in, 2012

"Sacrificial", oil on panel, 12 x 12in, 2012

“Sacrificial”, oil on panel, 12 x 12in, 2012

 

Dissecting Art, Intersecting Anatomy

I’m a bit late with this post, but I’m still thrilled to be included in this currently running group show co-curated by Vanessa Ruiz of Street Anatomy Blog, who featured my work last year on her entertaining site that celebrates all manner of anatomically-themed art.  Here’s the official show flier and press release for the current exhibit in Chicago:

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New Exhibit Will Take the Pulse of Cutting-Edge Anatomical Artwork While Honoring an Innovator

“Dissecting Art, Intersecting Anatomy: Merging Contemporary Art with the the Works of Pauline Lariviere”

On view March 9 to 16, 2013, at S3 Gallery in Chicago

CHICAGO, Feb. 11, 2013 — A new gallery exhibit will pay tribute to Pauline M. Lariviere, a mid-20th century artist and groundbreaking medical illustrator with Chicago connections.

“Dissecting Art, Intersecting Anatomy: Merging Contemporary Art with the Works of Pauline Lariviere” will be on display at S3 Gallery, 1907 N. Mendell St, Suite 4-H, Chicago, from Saturday, March 9 to Saturday, March 16, 2013. Public hours include the exhibit opening and reception from 6 to 10 p.m. on March 9 and also noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 10. Other hours are by appointment. Admission is free.

In addition to original art by Lariviere (1906-1988), a French-Canadian artist influenced by Picasso, the exhibit will showcase approximately 50 recent cutting-edge works in an anatomical vein by more than 20 rising and established artists and illustrators from across the U.S. and overseas working in diverse media.

All of the pieces on exhibit are for sale, including those by Lariviere.

Exhibit curators are Chicago artist and industrial designer Phillip Schalekamp, owner of S3 Gallery, and Vanessa Ruiz, Chicago-based art director and medical illustrator and founder of Street Anatomy, which maintains a visual blog and produces gallery shows.

The show will include 10 of Lariviere’s original oil paintings, which were reproduced as anatomical charts for medical classrooms and offices. Also on view will be 20 photographic glass plates of Lariviere’s illustrations used in the print production process.

“Her unique use of abstraction was new to the realm of anatomical art,” Schalekamp says. “She used it to convey dense medical information through visual symbols that are easy to grasp. Her departure from realism was controversial, but it was highly successful. Her style is still used in medical illustrations today.”

The contemporary artists in “Dissecting Art, Intersecting Anatomy” work in media ranging from oil, pencil, watercolor, acrylic, and photography to sculpture, furniture, video, human hair, and chocolate. Their work has appeared in solo and group shows and in publications.

Schalekamp says some of the pieces were created expressly for the show. Others are existing pieces that extend Lariviere’s pioneering work in applying modern art techniques and perspectives to science illustrations.

The following U.S.-based artists will be represented in the show:

  • Alexandra Baker, Ashville, N.C.; pencil and Adobe Photoshop
  • Nicholas Baxter, Austin, Tex.; oil on panel
  • Sung Jang, Schaumburg, Ill.; hair on canvas
  • Whitney Johnson, Chicago; collage
  • Vesna Jovanovic, Chicago; watercolor, ink, graphite
  • Michael Koehler, Chicago; sculpture/mixed media
  • Robyn Maitland, Chicago; acrylic on canvas/glass
  • Geno Malusek, Indianapolis, Ind.; photography
  • Nathan Mason, Chicago; photography/collage
  • Emily Portugal, Chicago; video
  • Dan Price, Chicago; sculpture
  • Danny Quirk, Springfield, Mass.; watercolor
  • Billy Reynolds, Los Angeles, Calif.; oil on linen
  • Brandy Rinehart, Chicago; sculpture/mixed media
  • Phillip Schalekamp, Chicago; oil/mixed media
  • Stephen Shanabrook, Cleveland, Ohio; chocolate
  • Andrew Svek, Chicago; furniture/walnut

International artists will include:

  • Emily Evans, London, UK; pencil
  • Alvaro Hidalgo, Viña del Mar, Chile; mixed media
  • Patcho Quinto, Quezon City, Philippines; pencil and Adobe Illustrator
  • Giselle Vitali, Barcelona, Spain; pen, ink, watercolor, colored pencil

Lariviere studied art at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Montreal and London’s Slade School of Art and studied medical illustration at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md., under famed illustrator Max Bodel.

Pauline_Lariviere_TopographyLariviere’s work appears in editions of Grey’s Anatomy and in numerous medical and nursing textbooks. A 1942 profile of Lariviere in the Montreal Standard said, “Streamlining kidneys and glamorizing intestines, while emphasizing their detail like a scientist, Miss Lariviere has obtained international fame.”

As a freelance medical illustrator, Lariviere painted anatomical charts for Chicago’s Denoyer-Geppert Company (now headquartered in Skokie, Ill.), producer of anatomical models and other medical education materials.

Some of her original works for Denoyer-Geppert were exhibited on Chicago’s Navy Pier in June 1948 during an American Medical Association conference there. Chicago Tribune writer Eleanor Jewett observed, “Three beautifully presented anatomical charts by Pauline M. Lariviere . . . are of the greatest consequence. . . . The charts are painted in oil and are truly remarkable.”

The Baltimore Sun profiled Lariviere in June 1950, noting that she “is pioneering a new type of medical art.” The newspaper said she creates charts “which not only are edifying and accurate, but are aesthetically pleasurable.”

Schalekamp of S3 Gallery says he discovered Lariviere’s work while browsing in a Chicago science surplus store, where he came across a set of glass printing plates. He bought the plates and later acquired a set of Lariviere’s original oil paintings from Denoyer-Geppert, where they had been in storage for decades. Intrigued, Schalekamp began researching Lariviere’s life and work and delved deeper into the field of medical illustrations and models.

 

Three paintings of mine featured in the exhibit:

"Sacrificial", oil on panel, 12 x 12in, 2012

Sacrificial, oil on panel, 12 x 12in, 2012

Light of the World

Light of the World, oil on panel, 12 x 24in, 2012

Anointing

Anointing, oil on panel, 24 x 24in, 2012

Wash-In Value Study

I found this photo I’d taken a while ago of the value wash-in of my recent painting Sacrificial. I had written about this painting earlier this month, but forgot to include this progress photo.

“Sacrificial” (value wash-in)

In order to make achieving the final vision of a painting seem less daunting, I often break the process down into as many easily-approachable steps as needed. One way to do this, of course, is to begin with nothing but value, or light/dark relationships, in a heavily-diluted wash.

 

Realism Techniques 7

I finished painting #12 in the Apostasy series, now tentatively titled Sacrificial, a few days before my recent galavant to Galapagos. Didn’t get a chance to post anything about it before I left, but let me just say: That trip was crazy. So crazy that re-entering the studio upon my return was like landing in a time warp to a long ago era. Like a cat in a new home I sniffed out the place to make sure it was still real, still my life(?), in this current place and time, and then gratefully got the fuck to work on some prints for an upcoming group show (more coming soon on that).

Good to get outta here for an adventure, but good to be back in the creative womb with some new entries in that cluttered/overflowing filing cabinet called mind.

So, to get myself caught up, here’s the now foreign-seeming latest:

“Sacrificial”, oil on panel, 12 x 12in, 2012

Mini-Layers

For anyone actually reading this blog on the regular, the technique of layering to achieve high levels of realism should be at least somewhat familiar by now.  Yet, within this broader process of applying paint in separate layers lies the specific technique of applying paint in small amounts, during the progression of a single painting session, or layer. In other words, a wet-into-wet paint application which mimics classic Alla Prima techniques, yet occurs within the quite contradictory process of indirect (or layered) painting.

For example, the basic form and colors of the gloved fingers shown below had been established after one opaque paint layer (which I usually call the block-in). After that first layer of opaque paint was dry, subtlety and detail were added in the subsequent layer shown, but this increasing complexity, not surprisingly, requires increasing care during application. Towards this end, paint is added sparingly, in thin amounts, and blended down to join it seamlessly with the dried block-in.  I move through an area, micromanaging approximately 1 inch square sections of the painting, each receiving the same apply/blend treatment.

I use Galkyd Slow-Dry medium with all of my paint mixtures, and pay close attention to the viscosity of the paint when mixing on my palette, since overly fluid or thick consistencies can make this stage of the painting process incredibly difficult.

Finally, where mini-layers come into play is when the application and blending process is repeated during the same painting session. I revisit many of the 1 inch square areas while the paint is still wet, and re-apply another thin layer of color, blending that out very carefully so as not to destroy the first application. …And so on, until these wet mini-layers have accumulated thick enough that I deem the layer no longer workable. At this point, the session is finished and I wait for that layer of paint to dry before revisiting the same area again.

The sequence below shows some of these steps. If you look carefully, you can see tiny areas of paint being applied and then smoothed out. These same areas were worked over once more in the same fashion, with certain areas receiving a third pass during that same day’s work.

Look at the purple shadow area first, then the off-white knuckle wrinkles, then the orange and deep red under-lighted areas.

 And lastly, a studio shot of my reference for the piece, which was perhaps the most complex and densely detailed of the series thus far:

The scalpel was a final addition to the already heavily-Photoshopped reference image, replacing a much more modern cauterizing scalpel, whose unsatisfactory look of a Lego toy betrayed its badassness. See this blog post for more on the intricacies of reference usage.