Working with Deborah Perdue to put together Nineteen Poems Around a Divorce and Beyond, I found the oils of George Oswalt on the Internet and asked him if I could use two of them for my cover art. I was fortunate in that George found several mutual influences on my Red Room web site, including not only writers but the song "Louise" I'd blogged about. He's now given me permission to use "#2" for the front cover and "#1" for the back cover.
Carrying a proof of the book, this week I was in Oklahoma City for a relative's wedding and had a chance to stop by JRB Art at the Elms Gallery to meet George. Previously we'd only had an Internet-and-phone relationship where he gave me permission to use one of his oils, Love And Loss Are The Same #2 and put Love and Loss #1 on the back. He thought the proof looked great.
The Paseo Arts District of Oklahoma City reminded me that many Midwestern towns have a few blocks of art districts,m which I found a haven growing up. With a few blocks of gallerys and a great restaurant, The Paseo Grill, the Arts District is truly a refreshing part of OKC. George described the techniques of some the artwork he had hung there and took me out for a convivial drink and we made plans to continue our friendship when he comes to California later this year.
Here's his artist's statement. See his artwork at http://www.possibilityx.com/go/main.htm
Weightlessness, loss, beauty, life transitions--Body Myths. This series is about the seen and the unseen, visual components of metaphor and fictional events performed by the characters in the paintings. Human interactions are essentially performances designed to make an impression on whoever is listening or watching. It is through such performances that the persona or social identity is developed. These paintings are performances. Vivid colors, twisted bodies. Attempts to make a visual impression that will linger. The imagery in the work is intended to take the viewer on a visual journey. The twists and turns of representational and abstract styles become metaphors of time and space for significant turning points in life. Much like the devices used by the screen writer to develop and drive the story to its conclusion, these plot points take you to existential voids. Or not. Meaning is the mystery, the enigma to be solved. "The mask, in time, becomes the face itself." In the end all that is left is the Mask.
Causes Kevin Arnold Supports
Poetry Center San Jose, East Palo Alto Police Activities League (EPA PAL), Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Yale Writing Conference, Gold Rush Writers