ANIMAL ABUSE

(a painting by Timothy J. Verret)

I am quite blessed to have found a new niche in my paintings. While at this moment, I am still inclined for abstract representation (as the above shows) with words contained in the artwork, some amazing discoveries have taken place from an art course I am in that I would like very much to share with you:

Only a few months into this art course, I came across a painter I completely fell head over heels in love with: a German painter by the name of Franz Marc. Marc is best known for his painting of animals. Clearly, this was something that appealed to me from the get-go. I invite you to search out his paintings. They are like Vincent Van Gogh painted animals, i.e., Marc’s choices of colors are strikingly memorable and intense and completely alive and breathing on canvas. This one called “Fate Of The Animals” is my favorite (I honestly had a hard time breathing when I came across it, and it transfixed me for many, many minutes):

“Fate Of The Animals” by Franz Marc

The other artist I got introduced to in the art course is one I already knew well but it came with a surprise, and that is Norwegian painter, Edvard Munch. Many of you know “The Scream” by Munch, but what you may not know is that Munch painted humans that were always either looking away or had faces that were blurred from grief and despair. In particular, what I noticed in reading a biography of his work is that the humans he painted have strangely deformed hands that look like they are smudged. This Munch painting entitled, “By The Deathbed,” is just one of many with this artistic choice:

“By The Deathbed” by Edvard Munch

See how the hands look like they are “gloves,” relatively fingerless? If you take the strangely peculiar hands and couple that with humans looking away in Munch’s work, I think Munch was suggesting the great disconnect of humans and their failures to “grasp” each other, hold on to each other, reach out to embrace one another, especially in times of grief and great sadness and death.

Speaking of “coupling,” because of the aforementioned observations of Marc and Munch, I made a startling discovery about the direction I wish to take my paintings: I aim to do a series of animal welfare paintings. I want to accomplish on canvas humans that are frightening, very “red” and very angular and distorted as they are abusing animals, whereas the animals in the same painting I will paint with a lot of bright colors and give them fluid brushstrokes to suggest a fluidity of motion. On canvas, I will attempt to paint the humans with dark colors, particularly red, and exaggerated, jarring and jolting and jabbing lines to give them the appearance of being very, very frightening and very, very aggressive/angry, while the animals in the artwork will be brightly colorful, animated, seemingly running right off the canvas, as though they are getting away from their abusers.

There was another artist I was introduced to, Diego Rivera, who was known for doing murals about social injustice. When I read up about him, I was immediately struck with the idea of doing an animal welfare mural. I have always said that when one cares about animal welfare, where does one start? It’s like an A-Z catalog of animal welfare topics to include factory farm abuse, animal research/vivisection, animals abused for entertainment, fur, rodeos, just to name a very, very few. The idea of doing a mural of this A-Z of animal welfare topics truly peaks my interest.

What an exciting time this is for me to have found a new direction for my paintings. I will be posting them here and who knows? An art gallery exhibition might just be in my future!

-Timothy J. Verret

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