plein air work

July 1 2020

July 1 2020

7" x 5" Oil on Panel 2020

October 24 2020

October 24 2020

4" x 11" Oil on Panel 2020

Mars Landing

Mars Landing

8" x 8" Oil on Panel 2017 - Private Commission

January 31 2021

January 31 2021

4" x 5.5" Acrylic on Paper 2021

Middlegrounds - Part 2

Middlegrounds - Part 2

12" x 12" Oil on Panel 2017 - Private Commission

June 24 2020

June 24 2020

5" x 7" Oil on Panel 2020

July 26 2018

July 26 2018

6" x 8" Oil on Panel 2018

July 29 2019

July 29 2019

Oil on Panel 6.75" x 9.75" 2019

July 27 2018

July 27 2018

6" x 8" Oil on Panel 2018

Distant Shower

Distant Shower

4" x 4" Oil on Panel 2017

studio work

Blockhead - Front

Blockhead - Front

10" x 10" x 10" Oil on Panel 2021

Blockhead - Back

Blockhead - Back

10" x 10" x 10" Oil on Panel 2021

In Da Club

In Da Club

42" x 42" Oil on Panel 2018

Brbr Deng

Brbr Deng

18" x 24" Oil on Panel 2020

Spineless

Spineless

24" x 18" Oil on Panel 2020

State of the Union

State of the Union

18" x 24" Oil on Panel 2020

Old Yella

Old Yella

24" x 72" Oil on Panel 2015

Dawn of the Donut

Dawn of the Donut

24" x 24" Oil on Panel 2015

Won't You Be My Neighbor

Won't You Be My Neighbor

24" x 24" Oil on Panel 2018

Sani-terrarium

Sani-terrarium

12" x 16" Oil on Panel 2020

G.I. Nooo!

G.I. Nooo!

11.75" Diameter Oil on Panel 2020

Da Show

Da Show

Thesis Exhibition Bates Gallery - Edinboro University Pennsylvania, Edinboro, Pennsylvania April 2015

Old Yella

Old Yella

Thesis Exhibition Bates Gallery - Edinboro University Pennsylvania, Edinboro, Pennsylvania April 2015

Toy Tableaux

Toy Tableaux

Flora Kirsch Beck Gallery - Alma College Alma, Michigan April 2015

Toy Stories

Toy Stories

20 North Gallery - Toledo, Ohio January 2019

artist statement

As an observationally based painter, I maintain two seemingly disparate bodies of work: toy tableaux still lifes and alla prima plein air paintings. Although the conceptual motivations between the two differ, they are both linked by an intense curiosity on process, materials, and the desire to capture light. Evolving in tandem for the last several years, I have found that the push and pull between the two approaches both informs, as well as invigorates, one another.

 

Toys have been central to my visual vocabulary as a painter – they can be transformed to comment on a wide range of issues using both metaphor and allegory. The familiar imagery is utilized to entice the viewer to look beyond the lighthearted veneer and acknowledge the often weighty concept that informed each painting.

In the past few years the underlying theme for my toy-based work has shifted towards developing a self-reflective, sub-series. After the financial stability of my family was momentarily put into peril, I began to recognize how important it was to maintain an illusion of security. Furthermore, this experience unexpectedly called into question my identity which had been intrinsically tied with my profession. The combination of not knowing how to provide for one's family and unsure of my true self left a sense of helplessness and impending doom that needed to be explored with innocent, playful imagery.

“Blockhead” amplifies this creative investigation by using self-deprecating humor to explore the feelings associated with constant evaluation and critique – particularly as I pursue my career as an academic and artist. The use of playful imagery (toys, primary colors, crayons) is intended to reinforce a feeling of inadequacy, and a child-like naivete when judged by others. This judgement often occurs in professional or online settings, especially when one deviates from the overly simplistic and dogmatic dialogue that exists in our world today. These relationship and social dynamics can ultimately lead to fluctuations between self-confidence and self doubt simmering in one’s headspace.

To complement the obsessive, slow-paced, nature of my toy tableaux still lifes, the practice of alla prima plein air painting forces me to work with a sense of urgency. Each small field study is a depiction of a specific time and place, and how I perceived those passing moments both visually and emotionally. Every painting is an adventure in battling the elements, simplifying the complexity of nature, and faithfully recording color relationships to describe an accurate sense of light. These compositions evolve organically, without premeditation or any conceptual agenda. Consequently, working this way yields to a sincerity in the paintings that is difficult to achieve otherwise. Although this process is in stark contrast to my toy tableaux paintings, it is critical in energizing my practice as a realist painter by honing my eye, and allowing me to play with the application of paint.

interview & tutorial

video info 

Interview: The video interview and studio tour was generated for the 2021 online exhibition, "Dreams and Their Edges" through the 

'I Like Your Work Podcast' website.

 Tutorial: The video tutorial was created for NMAT-S 230 as a supplemental demonstration on how to use subtractive color theory to mix colors intentionally using a warm and cool primary set of pigments. 

markland mall mural

Markland Mall Design - Paint Quantity Calculation

Markland Mall Design - Paint Quantity Calculation

Mural Design by Mara Fivecoate. Paint Quantity and Final Color Palette Calculations by Aaron Pickens Vector 2021

Design Transfer

Design Transfer

Markland Mall Mural

Markland Mall Mural

91' x 19.5' Exterior Latex Paint 2021

Markland Mall Mural

Markland Mall Mural

91' x 19.5' Exterior Latex Paint 2021

Markland Mall Mural

Markland Mall Mural

91' x 19.5' Exterior Latex Paint 2021

Markland Mall Mural

Markland Mall Mural

91' x 19.5' Exterior Latex Paint 2021

Markland Mall Mural

Markland Mall Mural

91' x 19.5' Exterior Latex Paint 2021

mural info

The New Media, Art, and Technology (NMAT) program at Indiana University Kokomo frequently offers a summer class in which students collaborate with local agencies and businesses to complete large-scale art projects. The mission of the class is to enhance the surrounding community with artwork. For the summer of 2021, the course teamed up with the Markland Mall to bring a nearly 1800 square foot mural to life on a south-facing wall of the complex, which is visible along State Road 931. As part of the curriculum, each of the seven students in the class presented their own unique concept of the mural to representatives from the Markland Mall. However, before students were able to pitch their designs for consideration, they first had to generate numerous sketches and design iterations as a way to refine their concepts, as well as meet the criteria outlined by the Markland Mall. The winning design was created by Mara Fivecoate, a junior at IUK, who is pursuing a career in art therapy. Her design successfully captured the history of the region and elements of present-day Kokomo, all through a vintage sensibility. The intent of the selected design was to express a sense of pride of living in Kokomo, while also making a visually impactful mural that is an inviting attraction. The Marketing Director for the Markland Mall and liaison for the project is Kenny Beasley.

plein air outing & participant work

Plein Air Paint Out Flyer

Plein Air Paint Out Flyer

Digital 2021

Sign In Station

Sign In Station

Cellphone Photograph

Overview of Paintings Generated

Overview of Paintings Generated

Mixed Media 2021

By Alice Harpel

By Alice Harpel

Oil on Canvas 1st Place 2021

By Jeff Compton

By Jeff Compton

Gauche on Paper 2nd Place 2021

By Shane Carti

By Shane Carti

Spray Paint 3rd Place 2021

By Claire Dana

By Claire Dana

Oil on Canvas Honorable Mention 2021

By Janet Meek - 1

By Janet Meek - 1

Acrylic on Canvas 2021

By Janet Meek - 2

By Janet Meek - 2

Acrylic on Canvas 2021

By Lex Fitzgerald - 1

By Lex Fitzgerald - 1

Spray Paint 2021

By Lex Fitzgerald - 2

By Lex Fitzgerald - 2

Acrylic on Canvas 2021

By Emily Matthews

By Emily Matthews

Oil on Canvas 2021

paint out info

On Saturday, September 4th, 2021, Indiana University Kokomo and the Greater Kokomo Downtown Association partnered to put together a plein air event in conjunction with Kokomo's First Annual Artsapalooza event. In addition to organizing the plein air outing, I also curated an exhibition entitled, 'Survey Midwest' which was on view at the Indiana University Downtown Gallery to coincide with these events. The images above include the flyer for the plein air paint out, a photograph of the sign-in station, and the paintings that generated at the event by regional artists. 

CV