Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Nowhere near Chelsea: Sticks 'n' Stones by Paul Alan Bennett

One of Bennett's many works featuring his famous "knit stitch".


"What's a Oregon painting doing in the blog of Chelsea Gallerista, New York City? Well, it's my blog, so I'll finagle the GPS if I want to ...

Sticks and Stones" by Paul Alan Bennett is sitting on a friend's wall in Eugene, Oregon, waiting to emigrate to the Coast where I am currently loitering with intent. 

It may well have heralded the end of my wandering days as a solo bicycle adventurette. The print, one of an edition of 250, is about as big as the biggest flat screen TV turned sideways. It's framed - not the sort of thing you should be buying if you're in the move!  I'm still trying to decide if I should just gift it to him - the shipping of this very large painting will probably warrant just buying it again ($275) and re-framing it. 

Something captivated me about this picture, when I saw it in a flyer on a notice board. Probably because it's quasi abstract - the accessible narrative appeals to my left brain, the odd Picasso/Van Gogh mashup appeals to my right. 

The strange "knit stitch" you see in the "water" is Bennett's signature stroke. I read where as a fledgling artist he was looking for a style to distinguish himself from others, saw a large, woolly knitted glove and bingo! Knitted up a storm.

Here are a few more, available through the High Desert Gallery in Sisters, Oregon. Paul really captures the rugged, yet curiously delicate environs of the High Desert Region of Oregon.




The painting below, Starry Night, is actually available as a $750 woollen tapestry blanket from Pendleton Woollen Mills. I nearly sprung for this, and I still might on e day! "Paintings and blankets. You're settling," quipped my friend Jerry Norquist.





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