Launch Pad Gallery: Featuring the work of local emerging artists.

LIVES: Past and Still

The Work of Process and Time


 

Opening Reception

SECOND Friday, September 9th!

6 PM – 12 AM

 


 

About the Show

 

The poet Wordsworth once said that life is measured in “spots of time”. This show and its contents are the remnants of those spots, moments of the past and present together.  First stemming from the talented Anna Magruder, this show began with a desire to pair two intuitive artists that both shared the precision of realism.   I have admired Anna and her work since I first met her and visited her studio a few years ago.  The idea of the show came from her, the theme, the idea of still life integrated with her forms, and the general private process of how she makes art.  She shared this show idea with her co-artist Nicholas Orr, who also works from “models” and “still life”, using a combination of real life and still life (actual models, items and photographs), just like Anna.  The pairing seemed very automatic and real, two highly skilled painters, showing the window of the soul of their characters (and the process of their art) – one stemming from antiquity and history, the other in the world of a magical realism; but both capturing the stillness and beauty of humanity.  Enjoy the works and natural beauty of both these artists, two of my all time Portland favorites, as they explore history, mythology and the character driven classicism of still life.

–Guest curator and artist, Chris Haberman, August, 2011

 

About The Artists

Anna Magruder

Alternating between still lives and paintings of people inspired by found photos, this show explores the magic and beauty of the fleeting moments and objects that leave indelible imprints on our lives. Whether we have emotional, aesthetic or financial attachments to objects, they can inspire us, remind us of someone or something important or simply set the mood in a space. Anna takes a fresh look at some of her favorite items collected over the years to discover how new relationships between them reshape what they mean and say. And by recreating scenes from past lives, she opens the door to new possibilities and stories that may or may not reflect the sentiment of the moment. After all, a glimpse into someone’s bygone memory can only take us so far, but curiosity about who they were or what they were doing can lead us down the magical path of our own imagination.

Anna Magruder is a Portland, Oregon artist and illustrator. In 2009, after 14 years working as a graphic designer, Anna decided to take a leap of faith and leave design to focus on oil painting and illustration. People and faces are her favorite subjects. Drifting between realism and surrealism, she enjoys recreating vintage America, re-imagining the lives and stories of characters on canvas, or just exploring the emotional color of faces in the crowd.

To view Anna’s artwork visit www.annamagruder.com.

 

Nicholas C. Orr

Nicholas C. Orr was born On April 29th 1979. At a very young age Nicholas saw the world differently. Along with being the youngest of three he just didn’t relate with the straight forward thinking of his family; He always saw the other side of the mirror as well. In 1985 Nicholas and his family made the transition from Jamaica to the United States; they moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Through his diligence, Nicholas was accepted into a performing arts program in High School and later won a scholarship to the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan.

When Nicholas started college he began to understand why he loved art as much as he did; He could use his skills to tell stories and convey emotions for people to live in. He majored in Illustration and got his BFA in 2002. After graduating he moved to Los Angeles, California where he went on to become a freelance Graphic Designer and Artist. He spent his time fine-tuning his craft and figuring out what story he wanted to tell with it. After five years of shows and design work Nicholas decided to make another big change and moved to Portland, Oregon in 2007. He is now starting to gather up his knowledge and experience to make a new life for himself.

My art is what I like to call a reflection of what something looks like on the inside. I feel like there is so much information about things hidden behind the surfs; all you have to do is look for it. In most of my paintings I feel as though I’m giving the viewer an all access pass to a person’s or thing’s inner beauty and emotion; At least how I see them. Rarely do we get the chance to just look someone in the eye without either you or them feeling a little uncomfortable about it; you lose the connection. With the way the future is coming and coming fast there probably will never be a chance for that connection to happen again. The world now communicates with cell phones and instant messaging, practically void of direct human contact.

When I paint, I paint with every stroke building over the next like I’m forming a person’s personality from the inside out. This is why I mostly paint with oil sticks. They’re very physical, earthy and raw. It all comes together in the end to make a powerful image. Other times I use Gouache. It brings a totally different feel as it is softer and yet has the ability to get thick and meaty all at the same time, which most people tend to be.

My paintings are like a summary of a thought or person, an overall view of what they could be. Now you could stare for hours without feeling awkward. You can get to know the person in the painting and understand them through their eyes and body-language. There is just so much beauty in things but, sadly, it doesn’t seem like they notice most of the time. My paintings slow you down. They make you want to get to know things again.

Selected Pieces

click thumbnail for a full-size view.

Nicholas Orr
Nicholas Orr
Nicholas Orr
Nicholas Orr
Nicholas Orr
Nicholas Orr
Nicholas Orr
Nicholas Orr
Nicholas Orr
Nicholas Orr
Nicholas Orr
Nicholas Orr
Anna Magruder
Anna Magruder
Anna Magruder
Anna Magruder
Anna Magruder
Anna Magruder
Anna Magruder
Anna Magruder
Anna Magruder
Anna Magruder
Anna Magruder
Anna Magruder
Anna Magruder
Anna Magruder
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