Sunday, March 5, 2017

Hudson River School Revisited

Hudson River Octopoda                    Oil on Paper

A Wing and Prayer Wallet         Upcycled Leather

As I completed the painting Hudson River Octopoda featuring the Thomas Cole House in Catskill and Olana across the Hudson River in Hudson, NY, I realized the importance of the conversation between two artists.  It was the collaboration between Thomas Cole and Frederic Edwin Church that encouraged both men to pursue ideas about man's relationship to nature, thus establishing the Hudson River School of Art.  With this context in mind that I changed the name of this blog to Omgeving, a Dutch word for surroundings-- for when you surround yourself in an environment of creative people, an engaging conversation about art, architecture, and the environment is bound to emerge.

I've had such a 30+ year conversation with dear friend and fellow artist Adriane Errera, whose one-of-a-kind handbags have inspired me greatly. As a lifelong vegetarian, Errera faced an ethical quandary over using leather materials, so when making her handmade accessories, she decided to upcycle second-hand leather garments found at thrift stores, which not only keeps garments out of landfills, but curtails the use of new animal products.  The designs themselves incorporate nature-based motifs with tattoo-inspired illustration. I've long admired her sense of color and craft as she refashioned garments into artistic statements.

So perhaps this blog can serve as a conversation-starter for your own creative growth, either alone, or with friends!

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