I paint people because I find them challenging, interesting, and overflowing with narrative. I am documenting time, place, society, and how these people fit into it—or at least my interpretation of that. We can all relate to life’s struggles, simple pleasures, emotions, and the aches and pains of aging. My paintings are a way for me to share my perspective of these facets of life. I paint people as I see them, flaws and all. My paintings are not meant to be flattering; my intention is not to please the subject and make a commission, but to create a piece of art.
On a strictly visual level, I see my paintings as relating fields of color that toy with balance and the eye’s path. These compositions are decorated with detail and texture, but the interplay among colors, the harmony and discord, is what excites me as a painter. I love a rudimentary, centralized composition, perfectly balanced, like a circle within a square. This simplistic solution to balance is why I like a single, frontal-facing figure. There may be elements of asymmetry to break up the piece, but the main structure is as straightforward as a Rothko or a Giacometti painting. I see the figure as subordinate to the painterly qualities—the marks, the drips, the colors, the textures—that I create.
I’m focusing on the details, attempting to capture the textures, the subtleties of reflecting light, and many of the things that we as people can relate to. I want the audience to form a relationship with my paintings through recollection of personal experiences—whether it is triggered by these details of the physical world, specific objects, or the people and their emotions. The viewer is meant to insert their own narrative. I like to think of the paintings as thread within the fabric that is our human coexistence. The more I can weave together, the more the audience can relate to my paintings.
I paint locals, friends, and heroes because they are a part of my own story. Sometimes, I use my artistic license to embellish the narrative and make the painting more exciting.
I encourage anyone to find me on Facebook.com/Reed.White to see progress shots, and on Instagram (@reeddeanwhite) for closeup photos.
"Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving what you have caught on film is captured forever… it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything." – Aaron Siskind
Slowing down is a disappearing element in society today. Running faster every day, we are in an age of instant gratification, no worry, and a delete culture. However, just like the resurgence of music on vinyl, film-based photography is making a comeback and finding a voice through a whole new generation in search of authenticity and the experience of the real. Analog, production of images, has warmth, graininess, and individual characteristics that digital photography lack.
This exhibit is part of the Fort Dodge / Kosovo Art Initiative, an international collaboration between the city of Fort Dodge and the country of Kosovo. The exhibit jurors are residents of Kosovo.
George J. McGhee Jr.
About the Jurors
Sehida Miftari is from the most beautiful city in Kosovo, Prizren, home of Dokufest. She is living in Prishtinë / Priština. Šehida is a human rights activist with a passion for photography. She focuses on mostly tradition and ethno-culture of Kosovo.
Lulzim Hoti is the Founder and Director of cultural organization “7 Arte” in Mitrovica, Kosovo. Mr. Hoti has 16 years of experience working in the community and cultural life development in Mitrovica. During the war in Kosovo, Mr. Hoti took his film camera by himself and while he was moving out of the country as a refugee (surrounded by military troops), he managed to take only one picture.
Art inspires us to visit the concept of “Unity” and see ourselves as part of a bigger Universe.
- Leni Kae
Significant strength centers on unity. The universe is a perfect example of this strength. As we look out into the cosmos, everything seems to be in its place, doing what everything should be doing, harmony in the sky. As humans, there has always been a fascination with the stars and their steadfast qualities. On earth, we try to find and establish unity and order inspired by the universe. As human culture developed the concept of order/unity, this focus has changed history, art, and much more.
In this exhibit, the Blanden invites visitors to explore the concept of unity in multiple ways: Unity as a principle of art and design, Unity in the context of honoring the combined effort by American women that fought for a voice in Democracy, and unity as the collective creative vision of women artists.
Unity, as a principle of art, refers to how parts of artwork work together, the "Gestalt" – or the whole. Artists accomplish this whole through working and understanding the mechanisms of art. These mechanisms are the elements and principles, how they interact with each other, and the viewer's perception of the interaction. Unity, as it relates to history and creative output, has its roots in this basic understanding of the whole working together for a creative outcome.
This year America unites with celebrating American women that fought for a change and struggled to have a voice and input on US governance. Starting with the Progressive movement in 1890, American women rallied together to reform society and politics. The main objectives of this group were to eliminate problems caused by industry, urban living, immigration, and political corruption. The group's triumph came on August 18, 1920, with the signing of the 19th Constitutional Amendment. Unifying under a single voice is a powerful device used to accomplish great things and provides clear perceptions.
This exhibit showcases women artists whose works have been collected over the years and preserved in the Blanden Permanent Collection. By exclusively featuring women artists spanning centuries, subjects, and mediums, their works display a unified change in perceptions of an art world dominated by male artists. Museums all over the world are focusing on highlighting great women artists to rewrite the narrative, pulling back the years of darkness, and submitting to the world stage great artists.
Unity is accomplished in many ways. Within the setting of history and visual art, The Blanden's presentation offers engaging narratives and discourse which frame an environment of learning and understanding. At the heart of this simple understanding and perception is a connection to a powerful universe and one another.
Works by Women Artists from 1890-Present from the Blanden Permanent Collection
Creating Unity: A Centennial Celebration
January 1 - October 30, 2019
About the Exhibit
Color is a very powerful element in the world and in art. Color has a profound effect on the human brain. We see color and perceive it subconsciously. Color can have an affect on our mood, hunger, and energy level. We see the power of color in advertising and marketing. Humans are obsessed by color. Color was present even at the birth of art. Archaeologists have discovered solid smears of pure pigment placed on ancient cave walls.
Color is a very complex element and we preserve it in different ways. Color is defined as an element of art that is produced when light striking an object is reflected back to the eye. There are three properties of color - hue, intensity, and value. These three properties provide us with a full range of expressive colors that transform meaningless things into art.
Art is created from a theory of mixing colors to produce other colors and values. A basic color theory is mixing what are called primary colors to achieve a range of colors found in nature. The three primary colors are yellow, red and blue. From these three colors, one can change the intensity and the value to create a full color map.
This exhibit explores the vast range of expressiveness artists can produce by using a primary hue as a main compositional subject. These artists used one or more of the three primary colors to produce art in a way that color itself is a major player within the artwork. The power of color is on full view! The richness of the value and saturation of color can be seen and enjoyed.
As a visual artist and a woman there are many issues of the feminine persona that are relevant within my compositions. Along with this fact is the opportunity I have had to work in the field of Oncology nursing for 35 years. Together these experiences have greatly affected the content of my work; content that centers upon man's courage and his ability to transcend obstacles towards a higher spiritual consciousness.
My personal artistic process is a hands on manipulation of the media. This type of physical action offers me a method to make visible the true content of my work. My usual icon or vehicle of choice, that I have found relevant for these purposes, is the bird form. For myself as an artist, I have found that the bird image symbolizes a spirituality. One which has been utilized for centuries as a religious icon of hope and enlightenment.
Along with my bird images I also have begun a journey into the world of the pierrot mines, theatrical actors which were common in the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries. Although these mimes are classified as clowns they appear to possess an unusual entity, one of mystery and spirit, exactly what I seek to demonstrate in my art.
In so many words, I attempt to give to the inanimate object of the canvas a spiritual vitality. There are many issues that celebrate and identify our humanness. We are all assimilations of our relationships and situations. As with all of us, our lives are journeys of enlightenment. I only hope to present through my art a realism which is honest and can be shared by both the viewer and myself.