Careful calculation brings to life the weavings of Carol Irving and the acrylic paintings of Michael Friend. Grids & Pixelation: Visual Poetry will be on display through the end of November.
The Opening Reception will be held THURSDAY, November 10th, from 6-8pm.
Artist Talk at 7:00pm
Michael Friend “Friendo”
After a thirty-five year career of teaching art and filmmaking in public schools, I realized my passion to become a producing artist. I had the time and opportunity to set up a studio to explore and define my style. I formulated a technique that draws on Seurat’s pointillism, Van Gogh’s rich use of color and my own familiarity with film animation. acrylic paint is my medium, and I have developed a optically complex painting format which is a form of pixilation.
Using gradual transitions of color change through the application of dots, I create my images by applying black dots to the entire canvas. A grid pattern forms the underlying structure as I concentrate on the interplay of color, pattern and form. Overlapping the dots with myriads of color give dimension to the image. I use color to act on the viewer with the same intensity as cold, heat, sound, and texture. The dots act as the catalyst to my creativity.
My paintings are labor-intensive and completed with one brush. They have been described as experimental and adventurous. Imposed order and precise practices are inherent to my work. The artists who have greatly influenced me are Georges Seurat, Vincent Van Gogh, Chuck Close, and Walt Disney.
I am a Fiber Artist, specifically weaving large rugs and wall hangings. As I sit at the loom the yarn speaks to me. I lean in and listen. The process of weaving can be very meditative and grounding. The thumping of the beater, the swoosh of the shuttle through warp threads. This aspect has always appealed to me. Designing for weaving is very technical and mathematical, and because it is so technical, I have to know exactly where I’m going before I get there. Weaving, using the interlacement of yarns, gives me an outlet to express myself that I haven’t been able to find elsewhere. My work is about ornament, texture skilled labor, timeless beauty, and the inner spirit made visible.
B&W is a series I have been working on for many years, it keeps calling to me to explore new ground and new creations. Designs in this series, are drawn from symmetrical and geometric shapes, using bold colors or just dark and light yarns to express my vision.
I’ve also started a new series based on natural scenes, photos taken at my home on Lake Michigan. These pieces are a reflection of my interests, travels and research in the natural world of Michigan and beyond. My feelings and emotions brought on by our mandated social distancing are woven deep within the yarns.
The aspect of Grids & Pixelations has always been a part of my work. During the design process of weaving, my computer software is used as an aid to work on the grid of warp and weft yarns. While designing, it is easy to make lines, squares, and rectangles, but to make a curved line out of this grid is challenging and it takes some finesse.
Michael Friend and I have had the pleasure of showing our work together before, and have found the pieces complement each other quite well
Deo Gallery’s November Artist Reception – Mike Friend & Carol Irving, at City of Marquette Arts & Culture Center, Marquette MI, Art (mqtcompass.com)