Wednesday, November 12, 2008
A Deluge of Color!
When at last I decided to end my own personal pity party yesterday -- to crawl out of my self-made black hole -- I sought out that which never fails to bolster my lagging spirit. Rocky made a simple but delicious meal for me at home. The kitties, who are much like faithful dogs in that they always greet me at the door when I return from work, lounged on my lap and shared considerable cuddles. I released those pent-up frustrations with an hour-long sweatfest on the elliptical trainer, and then I visited my old friend, the computer, to indulge in a bit of eye candy by one of my favorite artists, Stephen Morath.
I don't recall how, when or where I first became familiar with his work. I just know that I was instantly smitten. I've had the matted and framed print above, "Sunset Ride", for a number of years now. It presently hangs in my office, along with this one, entitled "Ajo Al's."
Stephen Morath began his studies at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and continued at Tufts University. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1979 and began his full-time art career in 1984. His popularity has evolved from his colorful narrative paintings of the Southwest. At first glance his art may appear to be a simplistic, cartoon-like landscape, but upon closer inspection, the viewer finds a complex storyline. The paintings blend bright, expressionistic Southwest landscapes with a touch of humor and nostalgia. Whether capturing a bountiful table of delights on a Mexican beach or a parade of trailers through the desert countryside, Morath’s paintings express his obvious amusement and fascination with the Southwest.
Many of his paintings contain a commentary on contemporary life: "I love the Southwest with its Spanish towns, Indian Pueblos, sparkling deserts of southern Arizona and the beaches of the desert sea ... the neon honky-tonk strips, weird outrageously colored topography and the tourist traps in between."
In recent years the artist has begun painting outdoor still lifes containing brightly colored flowers and unusually-shaped, oversized fruits and vegetables. He also enjoys utililizing his unique personal vision while painting the native flora and fauna of the Southwestern desert.
Mr. Morath's whimsical, exuberant nature shines forth in all of his work. Here are a few more wonderful examples ... Enjoy!
"More Snowbirds in Cactus Land"
"Evening Would Find Me"
"The Last Beautiful Things of Autumn"