This past fall the gallery hosted a tribute to the late Tom Buechner, who passed away earlier in the year. The exhibit featured work from many of his students and painting companions, each of who provided a short essay about their time spent with Tom. We are trying to run the entire series of essays here on this blog and will continue until the end of this year.
Today we feature an essay from Marty Poole.
Tom was lots of things to lots of people. There is enough of Tom’s life to fill a few of these books—museum work, being in business, writings, and of course, his various and partly crazy projects (too many to list). My favorite version of Tom is the slightly cranky optimist who resolutely dragged his paintbox out into all kinds of terrain and made a zillion sketches of the great outdoors, even though he would really have liked to be in the studio, opera blasting, bathed in cigar smoke.
He had it figured out, too. He would back the paintmobile (his van with the seats removed) up to a view, open the hatch (opera blazing over the van’s stereo) and set up. Add coffee and a two dollar cigar and he was happy as a clam.
Of course, you don’t always get what you want, and sometimes you have to lug your junk away from the road and carry your slender comforts into the unforgiving jaws of Mother Nature, to be chewed upon until martini time. We were in the Adirondacks * once, set up by a small river and hard at work. Everything seemed to be running smoothly until I hear behind me the sounds of muffled, seething outrage. I turn, and there is Tom, hunched over his palette, mixing colors furiously, surrounded by butterflies. Hundreds of them. He is swearing, trying to paint, they are all over his hat, his box, on the palette itself, on his brush, in a cloud around his head. Every few minutes he’d rear back and rake through the bastards with his painting knife, but it was no use.
So that was Tom, too. Not always a perfect fit, but always ready to give it a shot. And lots of nice surprises came to light, lots of good work, and lots of martinis earned. A good life.
Look for West End Gallery artist Dustin Boutwell in this month’s issue of the online magazine, POETSandARTISTS. There is a wonderful spread featuring a question and answer session with Dustin as well as some inside info on some of his unique signature pieces. It starts on page 64 which you can scroll to on the bottom of the page. It’s a great look at the work of one of the most talented painters to emerge from this area. Don’t miss it!
And to see more of Dustin’s new work, stop in starting July 22 at the West End Gallery. Dustin is one of the four artists in the Upstairs Showcase, Four Views. In this exhibit four of the gallery’s top artists- Dustin Boutwell, the late Tom Buechner, fresh off his recent solo show Marty Poole and Tom Gardner– each do their own interpretation of 2 photos submitted by each artist plus two from another artist not participating in the exhibit. So, there are ten photos with four differing versions of each. It should be a most interesting show! Must see!
Congratulations, Dustin, on the great article and on the great work!
This past week saw the opening of the latest group of work from ultra-talented Marty Poole. Titled Solitaire, the show opened Thursday, June 17, at the West End Gallery with a well attended opening. Many of Marty’s many collectors mingled before a stunning new collection of oil paintings that display the incredible scope of Marty’s mastery over the medium as well his unique eye for color and composition.
Solitaire features many of Marty’s strong features including his trademark epic landscapes with their soaring, immense skies and and wide, endless horizons that give the paintings a sense of the ethereal. There also examples of his still lifes that are wonderful combinations of forms and color that imbue the mundane with emotion, as well as a number of his figurative pieces. There is also a group of paintings that portray scenes from Poole’s travels, capturing ancient vistas in his unique style.
I’ve been exhibiting at the West End Gallery for over 15 years now and have benefitted in many ways. It was the first place I showed and sold my first piece of work. It was the first place my work was showcased. It was the place that first gave me hope of doing what I love as a career. So many other things as well. But perhaps the greatest benefit may have been what I have gained from observing the work of the other artists there over the years.
I’ve talked here and in my own blog of how artists such as Mark Reep, Marty Poole and Dave Higgins, among others, have shaped how I work and how I see my own work. Another such artist is Treacy Ziegler who has shown her collagraphs and, more recently, her distinctinctive paintings at the West End for many years now.
From the moment I saw Treacy’s work, I was intrigued. I instantly recognized that she was doing with her work what I wanted and didn’t have in my work at the time. Her prints had great areas of dark and light contrast and even in the lightest sections, a sense of darkness was always present which gave every piece real weight. Her bold colors and striking contrasts gave even the simplest compositions a deeper feeling.
They were also immediately identifiable as Treacy’s work. You could see a piece from across the street and you knew whose work it was. She has a very idiosyncratic visual vocabulary and her shapes and forms react beautifully with one another in the techniques she uses in producing her work.
At the time, my own work was still very transparent and very much watercolor based. With Treacy’s work in mind I started adding layers of darkness in my own way. Simplifying form. Enhancing contrast and color. All the time searching for my own vocabulary, my own look.
I’ve always maintained that artists are often more like synthesizers than creators. They absorb multiple influences and take what they see in them, merging them together to create something that is completely different than the original. For me, the West End has always been a great source for ideas and concepts to absorb. It may be in a certain brushstroke or the way a painting’s composition comes together or just in being exposed to an artist’s body of work for a long period of time. Whatever the case, I always find something in the work there.
And that has been a great benefit…
———————-Posted by Gary Myers
We just received some new pieces for our upcoming Little Gems show, which opens next Friday. It’s a beautiful group of small work from Marty Poole, one of the gallery’s most talented and popular artists for many years now. We’re excited because Marty does not often work in such small sizes and this is a rare opportunity for savvy collectors.
Marty Poole, for those of you not familiar with his work, shows his wonderful oil paintings in numerous galleries throughout the country and has a national and international following for his work. We have been fortunate over the years to be able, as his hometown gallery, to show pieces, such as these Little Gems, that other galleries may not ever see.
His work is constantly moving forward and has evolved over the years into beautiful explorations of color and paint-handling. These small pieces are great examples of the style and technique that typifies Marty Poole’s evocative work. There are several figurative paintings, such as these three pieces shown here which are 6″ by 8″ in size and several still-lifes in similar sizes.
For more information on these Little Gems from Marty Poole or any of our other talented artists, please contact the West End Gallery at (607)-936-2011 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org . We’re anticipating great interest in these pieces, so don’t hesitate in giving us a call.
The Little Gems show opens Friday, February 5, with an opening with most of our gallery artists that runs from 5- 7:30 PM. It is sponsored by JoAnn Bonady and her son, Joseph P. Bonady and will feature the music of flute trio A.m.A. It is open to the public and is always a great time. We’re looking forward to seeing you there!