Featuring work by Don Hartman & Dustin Hartley
January 10, 2017 through February 7, 2017
In today’s photo sharing world through digital media and cell phones, I wondered what would happen if I transposed other worldly critters doing vacation “stuff” and then sharing their own snapshots. The result of this thought is the show you see today. A series of quick sketches became the outline for the show. I have documented my painting process on boards with photos of each painting. The first photo is the sketch, otherwise serving as the “thought or inspiration” for the painting. The second photo is what I call the “block out.” In this first sitting I fill the canvas with paint, not worrying about if it is the right color or not. The goal of the “block out” is to cover the white gesso primer with color and begin to envision the painting’s first breath. The third photo is from a refinement sitting. Typically my paintings take eight to ten sittings to finish. These sittings can be anywhere from six to eight hours each with a total time to complete a painting being 50-60 hours.
I prefer to frame my paintings myself. Frames are tough little details and historically have been elaborate or simple or sometimes nonexistent. My preference is simple, clean lines that can be customized with color to enhance the work. The frames I used are from clear redwood with poplar and/or oak inserts and are of my design. The inset spline at the back of the frame was specifically designed with a recess to make the frame appear to “hover” off the wall. Why would I want it to hover? Well, if these folks are from another world they had to come here in some sort of flying machine that indeed did “hover.”
There is one painting included in this show that is not part of the vacation series. It is titled “Squeeze me and Ziggy.” This painting was started during a First Friday’s live event here in Town Hall Arts Center’s front foyer. I began with a blank canvas and while the crowd watched, I began to paint thoughts about life and its struggles. This painting expresses the hard work, the blood, sweat and tears; the friendship of a dog and the often-confusing roads we must traverse on life’s journeys.
Dustin immediately gravitated to art, duplicating his favorite cartoon characters throughout adolescence. He won the Heart for Art Award in 1996, solidifying his passion into a career choice, despite his mother’s misgivings. After briefly studying graphic design in college he returned to traditional painting and began work as a scenic artist for theatre. He has painted for theaters and production companies all over Colorado. When his is not painting wood to look like a different kind of wood, he employs a modern contemporary style of painting utilizing illustration, inking, watercolor and acrylic. The pieces featured in this show reflect Dustin’s eternal fascination with science fiction in all forms. While these space men are prepared for distant travels, it’s never truly clear if they’ve gone far at all… In fact, once may have touched the Obelisk. The suits they occupy and the glimpses of their surroundings allude to the wide-eyed wanderlust in all of us, whatever physical form we occupy and certainly not to Dustin’s inability to paint the human form and complex facial expression.
Dustin’s work can most often be found on stage. He’s painted four seasons of productions at Town Hall Arts Center, including Shrek, Boeing Boeing, and A Christmas Story.