‘Grain Paintings’ to open at Sherman Library
Sherman Library is presenting a show, “Grain Paintings” by Clark Gifford, through Jan. 9.
An opening reception will be held Dec. 7 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the 1 Sherman Center library.
Gifford is known for his sensibility for fine craftsmanship, bold colors, natural forms, and surprising details presents itself in this series of wood paintings.
Gifford has always had a passion for creating with wood. In recent years, the majority of his work has been functional - furniture and boxes made of wood; ceramic bowls and cups.
This series of paintings combines all these elements, but not in a pre-determined way.
In retrospect, there is a connection from his wood paintings to his previous bodies of work.
This type of painting began with an activity to do with his children. Using acrylic paint for its vibrant color and some scrap wood, a child’s activity turned into an obsession.
The color is built up layer by layer until it is intense and opaque, then it is contained by a precise line of black ink. A final layer finishes the surface, before framing.
Color, line, surface, connection, light, shadow, symmetry, perspective and pattern coming together in each individual painting.
“With each new piece, I live with the wood before deciding on the form,” the artist said. “Looking at it over and over, until I see a shape within that deserves to be called out by color.”
In 2003 Gifford graduated from Maine College of Art with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and a major in sculpture.
Toward the end of his time there, he focused in furniture making and design.
And for the few years after school, he created work in his small woodshop in Kent.
Soon after, he focused his energy in the conservation world working as a land manager for a land trust.
During this period, he explored ceramics, creating functional pieces.
In 2017, Gifford returned to his background in the arts, this time expressing his creativity in the form of painting on wood.
The library is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.