Neil Fenton


Growing: Oil Paintings 2019

            I agreed to create this, my fourth show, for Kreuser Gallery last August, 2018.  Envisioning the year ahead, I had anticipated creating work for the gallery's original space, for a smaller room, a series of little landscapes and urban-scapes, plein air, balanced, minimal, delicate, nicely framed. That show was not to be.  I was feeling particularly inspired to paint, having just returned from a decadent and dreamlike visit to Copenhagen followed by a week around the Ring Road of Iceland, accompanied by my pregnant wife, basking in her radiance as we drove into the bright arctic midnight. The rest from then on is a blur.  At some point, lots of things began happening very quickly. My daughter was born at the end of January, and by then Kreuser Gallery had moved to this new location, and I had a bigger and more present space to fill with art work, and that was the last thing on my mind.  Perhaps it was the middle of  March when I realized that I had better start figuring out what I was going to hang on Kreuser's walls.  My first show with Kreuser Gallery, five years ago, was basically a collection of random paintings. My next show was based on drawings from years of sketchbooks full of local musicians. For my third show I created a gathering of monsters culled from reclaimed objects and recycled materials.   Painting and making art for me is exciting because I am always learning.  I can never learn enough and there is no limit on how far I can push my creativity or techniques.  Often I have painted from my imagination, cartoonish, garish, grotesque or abstract, only occasionally would I attempt to paint something “realistic,”  and would almost never display the result. As beautiful, interesting and inspiring as I find everything I see in the world around me, I have never pursued my desire to capture it visually.  The wind blowing leaves, shifting light as clouds move, a single moment, distilled in silence and buttery light.  How can I attempt to capture what I see, let alone the essence of emotion, the illusion of time, perception of distance, the impossibility of flesh? Depicting the beauty of the world was a challenge I had yet to accept.  This beauty I see all around is what has driven my creativity all along and is made more profound by the beginning of my own family.   

            These paintings are images from my life, my family, our home and our yard.  All that I have learned in these last several months leaves me breathless and excited for everything that will continue to grow.