You may remember last week my rambling about some people thinking that craft was about process and fine art about the end result. Yesterday I went to an exhibition of Paul Manlove’s work at Marietta Art House in Lancaster County where he also gave a talk. His work totally disproves this theory. It is ALL about process.
The exhibition contains drawings, watercolors, and prints showcasing a style that’s seems more sketch-like than the tight and polished look that many watercolorists (around here) use. In the margins and sometimes within the main piece you can see his color tests, original pencil marks, and words that may or may not have a narrative bent to them. It’s fresh and raw with themes drawing heavily from nature (particularly roots and rocks – my favorites.)
It was really refreshing to see this sort of exhibition in Lancaster County. The talk was also interesting because you got to hear even more about his process, where he was going with this series of work that seemed to have gripped him, wrestled with him, and then left him there to move on somewhere else. He briefly spoke of his newer work (and I saw some of it on his website) and it is much less frenetic.
I liked a lot of the aspects of this exhibition and I think that it is worth a visit even if you’ve missed his talk. I just thought the timing was awfully interesting since he was so focused on his process and I just posted about that. Must be something in the air…