Autumn Leaves visual artists include myself and these six talented artists:
Nicole Buckingham Kern
Nicole lives and works in in Baltimore County, Maryland. Grew up here, went to college here at CND (College of Notre Dame of MD) left for a couple of years to pursue an MFA in Painting at SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design). And came back. She’s worked for the Walters Art Museum, The American Visionary Museum, and now works at the Community College of Baltimore County managing the galleries and teaching art.
She has been exhibiting since 2000, and her work has been selected for exhibitions in Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and California.
As for her method for completing the Autumn Leaves portraits, she would like to meet with each person she is portraying and chat, usually over coffee or tea, and just get to know more about them. After the meeting, they will arrange to meet again for a photo shoot (this usually takes about an hour/hour and a half). She will take the images from the photo shoot, make adjustments and work up a composition in Photoshop. She will then create the painting/drawing from the PhotoShop source composition.
The above sample compositions are how she works through her ideas. In preparation for Autumn Leaves, she took photos of her husband’s grandmother, Althea, and tried to work up compositions based on what feature drew her the most: her eyes.
In four of the above examples (which — by the way — are terrible reproductions of what are actually super-crisp ink drawings on paper), a friend asked to be portrayed variously in a “Batman” type of setting or outfit (i.e. note the portrait superimposed on a Batman body and outfit; note the image with the “Bat light” with the words “BiO”), and in a “Terminator” scenario (note the single glowing eye and mechanized half of the face).
Paris is interested in narrative, detail, and captivating perspectives: though a poor reproduction, the image top right above shows a zoom-lens like perspective looking down on a bed with a (traumatized) woman lying down, offering a sense of drama to the image.
Paris is affable, hard working, and comfortable working with all sorts of people. he likes to draw from life and photographs, and his methodology will vary depending on the needs, interests, and availability of those he will be portraying.
Ian was selected as one of the portrait artists for this project because his work is more conceptual than literal: his “portraits” draw from images, stories and biography, but in abstracting his imagery they take on a kind ofprivate meaning… something hopefully compelling at a visual level for anyone looking, but the “story” can only be known to those initiated… those to whom the “code” is given.
(In some regard… in the sense of meaning only being accessible to “the initiated”… Ian’s work is related to how much African tribal art functions. For example, the illustration here is an example of Ndebele house painting: the abstract symbols are codes communicating to other members of the Ndebele tribe expressing specific grief and suffering, and stood for the cultural resistance to their suffering. A different kind of content from Ian’s art, but the same idea of secret, coded language and meaning.)
Ian has experience as a graphic designer, and though he has a keen intellect and well-honed notions of how to express things in metaphoric or abstract or symbolic ways, he also is very comfortable getting input and feedback from his “clients”—in this case, those he will be working with in completing their portraits.
Ian holds his MFA from the Mount Royal School of Art at the Maryland Institute, College of Art and was a Hamiltonian Fellow from 2008-2010. He exhibits nationally and is collected internationally. Ian lives, works and teaches in Baltimore and its outlaying counties. He’s obsessed with the effects of mass culture and its images and is a regular contributing writer for the contemporary art journal www.BmoreArt.com.
Ernest Shaw is an artist and educator, teaching and inspiring young people in a variety of settings. His own work has a distinct style, one infused with color, splash, jazz-like improvisational aspects, and a highly-developed sense of natural realism.
Ernest’s approach to his work is to work from photography… photographs he will take, but only after and as part of getting to know his subject. Ernest plans to spend some time with his subjects, gather photographic imagery for reference, then get to work.
Briscoe works from photographs, and for this project expects to spend part of one day getting to know his subject(s), and part of another day taking photos to use as source material.
Briscoe’s Artist Statement:
“What I attempt to illustrate through my artwork is how an individual can communicate inner emotions, feelings or concerns in a manner that can open a silent dialogue with individuals of a like emotional state or concern. I am a firm believer in the idea that information, inspiration and knowledge can be obtained from a number of sources. I have revisited the grass roots practices of Hip-Hop and Punk cultures that were a part of my everyday experiences in the late seventies and early eighties and marrying those with the formal concepts that I have gained through my formal education.”
Briscoe was born in rural LaPlata in Charles County, MD. Briscoe attended Charles County public schools and continued on to study visual art at Charles County Community College (now the College of Southern Maryland), Morgan State University, (‘95) B.A., Howard University, (‘98) M.F.A. and the University of Baltimore, Communications Design Theory and is currently a lecturer in the visual arts at Morgan State University. Briscoe has exhibited his artwork at The James E. Lewis Museum of Art as well as the African American Museum in Dallas, SoWeBo Gallery, Baltimore, The Creative Alliance, National Black Art Show, SOHO, NY, Art-O-Matic, Washington, D.C., The Nina Simone Experience in Atlanta GA as well as others. Briscoe has also curated exhibitions such as The Evolution of Depression; revisited, drawings by Larry Scott at the James E. Lewis Museum of Art, Energies and Entities, paintings by Doris C. Kennedy and Baltimore City Arts, Turning the Corner.
Zoe’s approach is to convey story through a combination of pose, expression, distortion, make-up, and accessories or clothing. Nothing in her work appears by accident: it all carries meaning. In making portraits for this project, she will discuss things with her portrait subjects, and brainstorm different ways… different clothing, poses, accessories… that could be most fitting for telling the story of who that person is and what matters to him or her.
Zoe works from life, and expects at least a couple of in-person drawing sessions, as well as at least one preliminary “get to know you” sit-down conversation.
Zoe’s Artist Statement:
“An ongoing interest in race, gender and class motivates my work. Using the nude body—often, a corpulent black female figure—as metaphor, I explore the ironies of contemporary social and racial politics. My deliberately humorous and sexual content challenges what we view as moral and ethical. Playing on racist and sexist jokes, I point to xenophobic imagery that, in turn, alludes to collective stereotypes. The work evaluates prejudice based on appearances by literally undressing it; the particulars of cultural histories are writ large in these naked bodies.
“My sketches hold a sublingual psychological immediacy while the more detailed large-scale renderings represent a deeper sort of character study. Both allow me to contemplate notions of blackness and whiteness. I depict most of my subjects as isolated female figures. Their relationship with the world is signified by the colorful adornments they wear and the culturally loaded objects they embrace—among them, white hoods, suburban housing and sports gear. Whether penciled into a defined context or left to pose awkwardly against a blank backdrop, these characters embody ripe cultural dilemmas.”