These banners are my contribution to a three-part public arts project involving three distinct public art installations by three Vermont artists for the town of Bethel, Vermont. The project, Art on the River, was organized and coordinated by the Bethel Revitalization Initiative and funded thanks to an Animating Infrastructure Grant from the Vermont Arts Council. Each banner celebrates a unique aspect of Bethel's culture and identity as a community, and each topic was selected based on feedback from the community itself.
While the White River is in the heart of Bethel, it's hard to see it from Main Street. The three art projects in Art on the River focus on bringing the essence of the river to Main Street. The trout on the mural by Mary Lacy, depictions of Peavine Park and river views on select banners, and natural, curving shapes of the benches crafted by Lindley Brainard all evoke the beauty of the river.
The banner subjects are, in the order shown here: Bethel, Vermont, on the Map; Family Farms; The Bethel Bandshell: Community Entertainment; Peavine Park: River Recreation; Bethel White Granite; Bethel Town Hall: Community Engagement; Bethel Artisans; The Bethel Apple. The eight banners will be hung on lampposts in downtown Bethel in the Spring of 2018.
Scroll down to view a selection of illustrations for Regifts, a collection of poetry by Robert D. Grappel. The collection features art and photographs by myself and two other artists. For this reason I was allowed to freestyle the illustrations, responding to each poem individually. The result is a diverse collection of works.
Cover Illustration based on the poem "Manzanar." Translated from Spanish as "Apple Orchard," Manzanar was the site of a Japanese internment camp built in California during WWII. The plan of the camp is overlaid with apple, tree branches, and cherry blossoms. One of my favorite in the book, the poem reveals the dark places our twisted misconceptions about identity and concepts of belonging have lead us again and again. Among other poignant ironies explored in the poem is the fact that apples are no more native to America than cherries are to Japan.
Illustration for "Baggage Charges" by Robert Grappel.
Illustration for "Raw Materials" by Robert Grappel.
Illustration for "Bay of Naples" by Robert Grappel.
Illustration for "Finding the Third Way" by Robert Grappel.
Illustration for "Dot the Dragon's Eyes" by Robert Grappel.
Illustration for "The Plastic Christmas Tree" by Robert Grappel.
Illustration for "Death Without a Casserole" by Robert Grappel.
Cover illustration and a selection of illustrations for poems by Robert D. Grappel in his first collection titled "Gifts."
The creators of the Wanderfull.be concept wanted some artwork to give as gifts for donations to their startup. The following images riff off of their playful concept of escaping everyday gravity by achieving lightness of being through easy access to yoga practice.
I am a classically trained and award winning Printmaker. This is good old fashioned printmaking as Gutenburg intended, A to Zinc. In order of appearance you will see Stone Lithography, Silkscreen, and Copperplate and Zinc plate etching. Each technique brings out different tones of my artistic voice.
Sometimes an idea calls for something a little different, more than once. I like collage for expressing ideas that have texture, or that provoke mixed emotions. Collage and mixed media allows for visual juxtapositions that reflect conceptual ones.
I consider it a painting when it is a work of pure color. My underpaintings usually consist of shapes and negative space and I work up from there in layers. Oil painting and chalk pastel are not that different for me process-wise, because both involve the gradual accretion of pigment.
In oil I tend to employ glazes to achieve luminosity and depth. I love the way oil paint moves on a canvas, and though I do also work with acrylics I just never enjoy the experience quite as much.
When painting with chalk pastel I scumble contrasting colors over one another to achieve visual dimension. Chalk pastel is glorious because of it's vividness. It is pure pigment, pure and simple. I love that it can be hard or soft, rough or smooth.
When I use watercolor I like to exploit it's atmospheric qualities and vivid pigments for expressive results. In general, watercolor is my most versatile tool, and I often use it in mixed media techniques. But used outright I love it for pure range.
I love the marriage of word and image that takes place with greeting cards and inspirational or aspirational decorative art. I look at it like a modern day equivalent to illuminated text. It's a pure synthesis of illustration and written word, and I love playing around with it whether the message is sweet or sassy, tender or playful.
Wordless images can speak volumes as well, and for greeting cards are especially useful. No one can say it better than you, but the image can help set the mood.
Words made by hand. The old fashioned way.