I wil have an art opening Friday December 14 through the holidays, at Twin Spirits Distillery, from 6 until closing. My art will be there through the holidays. Please drop by if you'd like a good drink and some unique art. Wide price range.

 


Most people who have had an art history class from college can look at my art and tell I am a big fan of Matisse. He used bright colors in all of his work, and so do I for the most part. Matisse has a number of portraits, some such as his wife ("The Green Line"), his artist-colleague Andre Derain, and a series of paintings depicting "Odalisque" women.

I painted "Matisse's Algerian Woman" on a 20 X 20 gallery canvas, using acrylic paints and pumice.





The 2008 financial collapse left many homes empty and deserted. These homes can be anywhere, but it easy to see them in rural areas, windows dark, the door ajar, a yard with a broken down automobile, a crummy shed, and some plastic children's toys, all strewn about the weeds and grass. 

What does it feel like to lose a home? The swirl of emotions and anger, mixed with feelings of injustice. Shame. At one time there was a social contract that if you played by the rules, went to school, got a job, and worked hard everything would be fine. That's not true anymore. You can do everything right and still end up broke and homeless. 

This is a passage from Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five:

 

America is the wealthiest nation on Earth, but its people are mainly poor, and poor Americans are urged to hate themselves...Every other nation has folk traditions of men who were poor but extremely wise and virtuous, and therefore more estimable than anyone with power or gold. No such tales are told by the American poor. They mock themselves and glorify their betters. 

 

Foreclosure. 30 X 30 Acrylics and house paint. Gels and pumice.






 

 


A busy thoroughfare in Minneapolis. A young man, dressed in his going-out clothes, plods down the sidewalk clutching some flowers too tightly. He's nervous, and unsure of himself. Yet he is on a mission. He has high hopes for the flowers. 

 

Going to see a girl.

30 X 30 on a gallery canvas. Acrylics, extra-course pumice, and pencil. November 2018.







 

 


In the beginning.

And then sometime later.

Finally, it's recent history and here's this guy called Moses. And he's quite a character. He's a bit disheveled and birds like to sit on him and peck at his beard. Moses might have lice; who knows?

 

Sweet Fancy Moses.

18 X 18 on article board in a hardwood frame. Acrylics and pumice. 

 




This painting, Milkweed, hangs in my living room and it is a beauty. It has a handsome frame which really makes the colors jump. Someone with a big empty wall should talk to me about buying it. The painting is 40 inches high by 30 inches wide. The frame adds another eight inches in height and width. The painting refers to the interior of the milkweed pod which pops open in the late summer and early fall. $1200.

 





By Dallas Jeffs


A painting on newspaper expressing a warning about extinctionThe Road to Extinction, acrylic on newspaper 

Barry Scanlan is a mixed media artist who often uses his practice as a method ofcalling attention to social, political, and environmental issues. Barry’s works tend to be colourful and stylized, incorporating text that lends each piece a punk or DIY-esque aesthetic.


A colourful image with a figure of a skeletonProfits. Wealth. Money. Nothing Else Matters, acrylic and paint pens on newspaper

 

Barry’s recent series of work, Corporate Environmental Abuse, focuses on just that. The artworks in this series are aggressive, but not entirely humourless. Bright colours and cartoonish figures peer forth from a dystopian world that looks suspiciously similar to the one we live in today. Text that seems like it could exist on protest signs frames these images, making them impossible to overlook.


The front page of Barry Scanlan's art websiteBarry's art portfolio website

 

I also enjoy the way that Barry plays with texture and media in his artworks. In his portraits gallery, for example, the artist showcases recent experiments painting on canvas that’s been textured with pumice. The resulting effect hearkens to ancient frescos, and the heavily textured abstract works of Nella Lush.


A political painting made using textured mixed mediaPolitics and Money, acrylics, pumice, oil sticks

 

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. She is a recent graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where she studied Critical and Cultural Practices. She is passionate about talking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In her studio practice she is a painter, but she considers herself an art writer and educator foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises