“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” – Einstein
As artists we work when we are thinking. We are used to spend hours in the creative process. And then, when we paint, we just transform that creativity and ideas into something unique and reflective of our mind. It may take effort to get the creativity in each of us flowing, but once it starts it takes the artist into a different world where landscapes flourish, objects alter their views, and compositions thrive in such a way to capture the attention of multiple generations.
The imagination and the connection between ideas take some exploration and this is the explanation of the creative spirit through the words of NOAPS Artist Member Hans Guerin.
“My melon series began when I was looking to fill a typical still-life set up. As I arranged the other objects around my shadow box, I rejected boring composition after boring composition. Not that a straight forward still-life is a bad thing; I just wasn’t feeling it. Object in, object out, move this here swap that with this; none of it appealed to me. The only thing that was catching my eye was the wonderfully bizarre pattern on the watermelon rind. It struck me and I made up my mind to make that the subject of my painting. I decided to incorporate the streaks of greens more as a funky design element while adhering to my realist inclinations. With a little flattening out of the watermelon pattern and with an alteration in scale, I got excited to be able to attempt a painting that was both highly
realistic and oddly abstract at the same time. This painting became “Rind”, letting the viewer know where my interest in the painting stemmed from.
Upon completion, the idea of inverting the relationships of watermelon’s fleshy pinks and the vivid green pattern popped into my head. I wasn’t sure the bisected watermelon half could be interesting until I looked further and I saw the abstract elements that inspired “Rind”. Placing the rind of the watermelon in front of the intense pink reds of the flesh in the background created some visual pop from across the room and I hoped to lure them in with that contrast from afar and keep the viewer in close with fine details. I labeled this sister painting of “Rind”, “Flesh”
“Inner Glow” was an elaboration of the other two. I thought that if I could establish a sense of three dimensional turning values in the background watermelon rind, I could have the strange pattern of dark green change values. Inspired by the many contemporary realists that radiate light off of their still-life objects in their paintings, I reasoned that adding color change in the rind would be even more compelling.
I further the idea and creative process with the Cantaloupe paintings below, “Seed” and “Cantaloupe”. I used again some of the same compositional elements of the watermelons. Instead of the wild patterns of greens in the watermelon rind, the cantaloupe inspired an odd abstraction with its textured web of tan over soft green. That against the intense orange peach of the flesh seemed to me like a worth while composition to attempt.
All five of the melon series painting stemmed from a desire to compliment my more traditional still-life paintings with something contemporary and unique. My paintings usually emerge from a desire to show an interesting juxtaposition of objects, color, and light, but these had an added element of abstract design. I might not ever put out a purely expressionist painting, but showcasing the abstract in everyday life is modern art enough for me.”
ABOUT HANS GUERIN
Born in Frankfurt, Germany, Hans Guerin is the sixth generation of artists in his family. His maternal grandparents, Hans and Ann Didusch Schuler, founded the Schuler School of Fine Arts. So, it is not a coincidence that after receiving a bachelor’s degree from Salisbury University in 2000, Hans enrolled in the Schuler School of Fine Arts to continue his family legacy. He currently assists the school as their framer, instructor, technical assistant, as well as conducting workshops and teaching. Hans has participated in many juried exhibitions including the 22nd Best of America Exhibit 2012, the 2013 and 2012 Salon International at Greenhouse Gallery and the 2013 OPA Annual National Juried Exhibition.
More information about Hans can be found at www.hansguerin.com