View a selection of Gary Welton's work:
The Barre Series began one afternoon as I sketched a dancer practicing at the ballet barre. The rapidity of her many overlapping movements in one space as defined by the stationary architecture of the barre encouraged me to work quickly and with abandon.
The difficulty of finding her moving form firmly in a given time frame results in gestural, abstract mark making. I try not to think my way through these events but to work with feeling and playfulness using pen, ink and watercolor wash. Hopefully this dialogue captures some of the life I see before me.
The drawings shown are from a continuing series that presently includes over 1000 works on paper. I am pleased to share them with you.
My early fascination with the body inspired my artwork. I began studying the structure and architecture of the figure; the dominant shapes and the lines of a body in my drawings, paintings and sculptures.
In addition, my scientific interests led me to explore the functions of a body, how it is engineered and how it moves. This led me to the realm of abstract figurative work.
I am able to stay true to the structural reality of the figure, while also capturing the harmony in design and energy within. This is where the life is.
In The Vogue Collection I experiment with color and fashion. I combine inspiration from my upbringing in the fashion industry with a live model draped in couture to tailor drawings and paintings in this vivid series.
My model speaks without words through her body language; expressing her confidence and energy similar of that conjured at the end of a runway.
A shift into pure color, The Vogue Collection communicates bold artistic visions.
I get transfixed and inspired by Movement. Especially during dance, the emotional side of my brain is triggered and intuition takes over. The more a model moves, the more abstract the painting becomes.
I capture the melody, rhythm of the movement, and the harmony of dance on canvas. Attending a dance performance is like watching a painting come to life; I attempt to capture in a painting what I observe to preserve the energy of that moment.
Just as there is a hidden story within the nonverbal movements of a dancer or model, there is also a story that resides within Animals & Nature.
Similar to the models, I capture the raw energy of an untamed animal, or the transformative stillness found in the peace and quiet of nature.
Working from either a fantasy or memory of a moment in which I connected with energy of the natural world, I share my interpretation of and respect for the world with my audience.
In The Silks Collection I work from the moving model, creating large paintings on silk quickly. An exhibition of exotic silk paintings and batiks I attended in Amsterdam inspired me to experiment with silk painting.
I draw and paint directly on Doupioni silk from India with French dyes and occasionally metallics. I usually size the silk to stabilize it and control some of the movement or bleeding of the dyes. After the painting is complete, it is steamed to set the dyes, washed to remove the sizing, treated with vinegar to improve the color, and then ironed. The more the model moves, the more abstract a painting becomes. I watch for movement, gesture and feeling. It is a creative collaboration.
The heroic drama and movement of an athlete through time and space has inspired a whole new exploration for me. A recent commission of 65 artworks for the Minnesota Vikings and Sports and the Arts to reside in the new US Bank Stadium was a great honor and challenge. I have incorporated the language of the written word and action play diagrams to illustrate the motion forward.
I have always loved the silent movement of a sailboat through the sea, a symbol of a magical journey. I am incorporating nautical charts, maps, plotting sheets and sea life to illustrate this watery adventure.