The art department has been so fortunate to have the Figurative Paintings of Douglas Giebel on campus for our first professional show of the year. Our students and faculty have relished the opportunity to spend time with the work in Adams Hall on a daily basis.
Recently, Douglas was on campus for his gallery reception and artist talk. Our students thoroughly enjoyed hearing about the processes, conceptual evolution, and artistic influences that have spanned Giebel’s 30 year artistic career.
The show will be coming down on October the 7th, and we urge you to come see the work while it is still up.
Douglas Giebel Artist Statement:
My landscapes explore space not just descriptively as a camera might, but emotively as the Creation in which God has placed us. The Biblical notion of the garden is rich with allusion of the blessing of God who sustains all things for his own glory. My paintings are based as much as possible on direct observation of some sort of model or motif. Most of the landscapes are done on location at green spaces in Rochester, New York that were intentionally designed by Frederick Law Olmstead to meet the city’s needs for preserving nature for public enjoyment—Highland Park, areas along the Genesee River and its tributary streams. I am eager for figures to populate these urban landscapes, and have gradually built a repertoire of figures whose gestures bear some emotional pull for me, and I trust for the viewer, as well.
Some of these figures, usually the musicians and readers, are references to immediate family members, emotionally significant images that have become seared in my brain with increasing value and meaning over the years. My wife and children are musicians. Observing them over the years, I have become intrigued by the theme of music-making as an engaging activity to incorporate into a pastoral picture. The tonal aspects of music and painting can be analogous to the emotional content of the landscape. This was explored by the great Venetian colorists, Giorgione and Titian, but developed further by Claude Lorrain and Nicholas Poussin. More recently it was sustained by the Symbolist notion of landscape as an etat d’ame, particularly as realized in the work of Puvis de Chavannes, Maurice Denis, and Pierre Bonnard.
The Christian artist has the encouragement of a high vocational calling with God’s mandate to aesthetically develop the garden which the Almighty has given us to enjoy and cultivate to His glory. I am eager for my paintings to express the joy God intended humanity to have in fulfilling this high calling.
“God has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men, yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11
Douglas R. Giebel, June 2013