By Nick Baxter
[caption id="attachment_19662" align="aligncenter" width="338"] Invocation Of Trust, oil on panel, 4.5 x 8 inches, 2013[/caption]
Here’s a recent piece I completed for submission to an upcoming charity art exhibit at The Egan Gallery in Fullerton, California, curated by friend and fellow artist Cody Raiza who is a passionate animal welfare activist.
This tiny painting was inspired by events this summer at my house in Austin Texas involving the rescue of 2 baby raccoons from a rain catchment bin in my backyard by my partner and I. These two little fuzzballs, normally capable of being quite ferocious, were reduced to feeble, trembling snugglebugs by their traumatic night spent flailing and trying not to drown. They instantly grasped and climbed my extended arms seeking warmth and comfort, and stole our animal-loving hearts in the short time before we entrusted them to the care of an area wildlife rehabilitation center.
Of course, never one to miss any artistic photo-op, I snapped away with my iPhone camera and ended up with some gorgeous, heartwarming shots, which after the usual in-phone editing, made their way first to Instagram*, and then to the easel when I realized they were perfectly suited to the theme of this upcoming art show.
[caption id="attachment_19664" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Edited reference photo from my Instagram account.[/caption]
Here’s the evolution of this image, which just as the title declares, was intended as an invocation of trust in my life, to overcome barriers of fear and isolation, and to elicit sacred tender moments of unity between humans, other beings, all life.
[caption id="attachment_19663" align="alignnone" width="700"] Pencil transfer drawing and Grisaille, followed by color block-in and 2-3 layers of color adjustment and glazing.[/caption]
(*This is the first time I’ve painted an image originally intended solely for my Instagram gallery…not sure how I feel about that. I routinely attempt to post content there which is reminiscent of my paintings, and certainly aligned closely with my overall artistic aesthetic, often self-critiquing them afterwards as if they were paintings…but I really despise the over-saturation and cultural-race-to-the-bottom of social media, despite my own degree of participation in it. I’m curious to see how the Ig creative outlet will affect my art in general. To be continued…)