Artist Spotlight Series: Jerry Cantwell
While in the mountains this summer I was stopped in my tracks at a restaurant in our area, near Linville, North Carolina. Reid’s Cafe is a chic little spot with an amazing local menu and charmingly designed interior.
I was mesmerized by the work of this artist hung through out the restaurant. I am thrilled to now know more and to share the talented artist
Enjoy getting to know
Boone, North Carolina
What is your training?
My formal training began at New York University in Art Therapy and the Studio Art program.
I finished my training at the National Academy of Fine in New York City where I studied painting and drawing under Serge Hollerbach who I consider the master teacher who greatly influenced my development as a painter and artist. Through his instruction I explored both the classical and modern masters such as Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Cezanne, Rouault, Rothko, Modigliani, Hartley, Matisse, and Avery.
What inspires you and your designs?
“I strip the design to essentials: The facts do not interest me as much as the essence of nature”. Milton Avery
My artistic philosophy is to strip down the image to it’s psychological essence through perspective, form and color. Something that connects us all. Through my art I attempt to guide the viewer into a space where the ego relaxes, the breathe is even and a graceful truth is revealed. The copy of a master drawing; the face of a shocked child clutching a mother’s hand; a man mopping a subway platform with noble intent; three cows in a field, a majestic cardinal in winter and an old chevy truck are all silent images for me of captured grace.
I try to take perspective and show it where both light and form make sense. Each form is a meditative state. I want the viewer to have a sense of going into the painting and being silent with the figure. I simply like to describe my drawings and paintings as “Silent Spaces”.
How has the your area influenced your work?
The mountains of North Carolina have inspired a more peaceful approach to both my landscapes and approach towards the psychological narrative of the figure.
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