Honey’s Room (Horses) by Shawn Fields 27 x 36 Oil/Board
Shawn Fields. Get out! This man has such a fabulous imagination and it shows in his paintings. His kids must have a magical childhood based on the paintings! It’s a childhood like I remember, back when kids played and really used their imagination. Each of these paintings is so heartwarming. They just make you smile!
Honey’s Room has got so much character. Shawn has painted this room in different paintings and each is WOW! I love Honey, with her sweet hair, her horses, the lights in her room, she’s a cool kid for sure!
Dowling Walsh Gallery in Rockland, Maine is having a show for Shawn and it begins TODAY and runs through September 26th. The opening is from 5-8PM (tonight). So if you’re in the area… DON’T MISS IT! This guys work is something special. Here’s a bit about the show from Dowling Walsh:
UPCOMING EXHIBITION: SEPTEMBER 2015 – opening 5-8pm Friday, September 4th, 2015
Shawn Fields’s current group of paintings are visual descriptions of experiences that symbolize what humanity has in common. In order to recreate these experiences in paint, Fields finds the objects unique to him, that will serve as a building blocks for a narrative. A specific TV, an Afghan blanket, a 1981 Grand Marquis, are collected, arranged; figures are introduced to the composition who can interact with these visual cues, magnify them, and bring them to life. Fields’ goal in every painting is to preserve the original inspiration, the idea that sparked the painting. The editing, and honing, of this idea results in the drawing (and redrawing) which supports each finished painting– a result that Fields hopes most clearly communicates the idea. The studio props, sketches, loose and final paintings here, show in detail the source and the process of Shawn’s work.
Shawn Fields’s studio itself reveals the process from object to image. The space, on the top floor of a former Buggy Whip Factory in New Marlborough, Massachussetts, serves as stage and subject. Stacks of drawings mounted on blue board insulation line the walls. Studies paper every surface. Behind each door, shelf and easel, are paintings, busts, textiles, and musical instruments and other props waiting to be incorporated into the work. Below his studio, on the ground floor, is a furniture maker who built the frames for the paintings in this show.
Afghans by Shawn Fields 33 1/4″ x 37 1/2″ Oil/Board
I know! I know! Precious! Two kids, watching TV (remember those TV’s??), covered with an afghan, having the time of their lives. Cereal bowl or ice cream bowl? Ha ha… This is another perfect example of how Shawn has the ability to not only paint a great painting, but to tell a story as well.
Read a bit about Shawn, from the Dowling Walsh website:
Gene Wilder turns to the character Veruca Salt in the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1969), and says: “We are the music makers, / And we are the dreamers of dreams…”
The children in these drawings and paintings are stand-ins for the universal person. They are celebrating present freedom and possibilities.
“We are the music makers, / And we are the dreamers of dreams, / Wandering by lone sea-breakers, / And sitting by desolate streams;—/ World-losers and world-forsakers, / On whom the pale moon gleams: / Yet we are the movers and shakers / Of the world for ever, it seems.” – Arthur O’Shaunnessy
Shawn Fields is a representational artist, telling stories of childhood with convincing detail. Shawn reminds us of the simplicity of a childhood full of resourceful, economical play. His paintings begin centered on a particular object – a “cabbage patch kids” bicycle, a bathing suit, a pillowcase – familiar from his own childhood and echoed in his children’s. The object becomes embedded in layers of narrative until the picture is complete.
Using practiced color, composition and anatomy, Shawn amplifies his narratives with make-believe. He has been inspired by Pixar and Spielberg, as much as by Winslow Homer and the Wyeths, in their ability to tell a story. Shawn understands that a painting can seem even more real when it takes liberties with reality. He cleverly invents ways to weigh down the mattress beneath the feet of a feather-light child, allowing it to crease and fold in a way that our mind reads as true. He billows the cape of a young boy jousting on his bike, the ribbons and grasses blowing with vigor, capturing the speed the viewer and the child have imagined. Shawn’s paintings signal to our recollection of reality.
Growing up outside of Baltimore, Maryland, Shawn’s early conception of art was formed by a monthly subscription to Mad Magazine, and exposure to traditional American painting and illustration. Shawn studied drawing and painting at the School of Visual Arts, and at the New York Academy of Art. Shawn lives in the Berkshires with his wife and three children.
Be sure to check out Shawn’s website. There are also prints available for a few of his paintings, and these are some of my favorites!
Images via ShawnFields.com and DowlingWalsh.com, used with permission from the artist…
Catch you back here tomorrow!