Upon setting foot into MA Doran Gallery during the month of March, visitors will undoubtedly be welcomed by one word: color. The paintings of Montana artist, Marshall Noice, are a dive into a fearless world of vibrant color combinations, subtle undulations and rich juxtapositions of color that will brighten the remaining dreary days of winter. Noice's recent body of oil paintings and pastel drawings opened at MA Doran, 3509 S. Peoria, on March 10 and will run through April 2.
A lifelong muse is often the key ingredient of a successful career for any artist. For Noice, that inspiration is landscape. His passion for conveying landscapes in his work developed after spending a summer working as an assistant to the legendary landscape photographer, Ansel Adams in Carmel, Calif.
"At that point landscape became my subject matter," Noice said. "Looking at landscape became my life's obsession."
Noice worked for 25 years as a commercial photographer but always kept a separate painting studio to work in a few days a week.
"For some reason, I seem to need to paint," he said.
After years of accumulating paintings in his studio and home, his wife told him that he needed to start selling them or put them in a storage shed. To make peace, he showed his paintings to galleries in Santa Fe, N.M., and Jackson, Wyo., both of whom eagerly welcomed his work. Sixteen years later, Noice is still working full time as a painter.
While Noice considers himself a studio painter, he frequently spends time making small pastel sketches en plein air. A morning sketching session might result in 40 to 50 small pastel drawings that he will use to inform his larger oil paintings in the studio. His sketches are quick and focus on the lines and colors he sees without allowing himself to become caught up in realistic rendering. These initial sketches often result in slightly larger pastel drawings, which allow him to build the composition and set the mood of his larger oil paintings.
"My motto is 'fear no color,'" he said.
His work is highly influenced by fauvism, expressionism and key colorist painters like Henri Matisse, Pierre Bonnard and most importantly, Marchk Rothko.
While his paintings are vibrant and beautiful, it is Noice's pastel drawings that speak to the direction he intends to take his work. Like many artists who walk the line between representation and abstraction, Noice is interested in pushing his work in a direction that allows the viewer to first see color, line and the paint itself before taking in a discernable subject matter.
"I've never been interested in pure abstraction," Noice said. "I always want some reference to the landscape."
More information is available at madorangallery.com.
Adam Haslett, author of Union Atlantic, will be in Tulsa at Hotel Ambassador, 1324 S. Main St. on March 22 at 7pm for a book discussion and signing sponsored by BookSMart Tulsa and the Nimrod International Journal of Poetry and Prose at the University of Tulsa.
Unimpressed by the boring connotation of a "book signing," BookSMart Tulsa's co-founder, Jeff Marchtin, prefers to refer to the organization's author events as "book experiences." The evening will include a discussion, reading and signing with Haslett, as well as live music, a cash bar and trivia.
Haslett was a finalist for the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for his first book, a collection of short stories entitled, You Are Not a Stranger Here. Haslett followed up the success of his first book with Union Atlantic, which has earned him a second ovation of praise and a reputation as one of today's most talented young American writers. Esquire Magazine said of Union Atlantic: "The first great novel of the new century that takes the new century as its subject ... It's big and ambitious ... It's about us, now. All of us."
"In late '90s I became interested in how so many decisions that effected everybody's lives were made by a few white men in Washington and New York," Haslett said.
Union Atlantic follows four characters and the conflict that arises between them under the shadow of a contemporary financial system. Doug Fanning is a hotshot banker who lives next door to Charlotte, a retired history teacher. Charlotte's brother, Henry Graves, is head of the New York Federal Reserve Bank and Nate Fuller is a teenager dealing with the suicide of his father. Through their conflict the characters exemplify the outcome of a culture that has become so overstimulated and distracted that there is no opportunity to see the big picture.
"I finished the book the week the Lehman brothers collapsed," Haslett said, "Things I'd been dwelling on exploding at the national conscious."
BookSMart Tulsa began two years ago as the brainchild of local author Jeff Martin and Mary Beth Babcock, owner of Dwelling Spaces. The organization was created to fill the void of events catered to Tulsa's bookworms. In its short lifespan BookSMart Tulsa has already established a solid reputation by bringing in celebrated names in contemporary writing such as: Audrey Niffenegger, David Sedaris and Elizabeth Gilbert. This energetic and ambitious organization brings three or four authors a month to Tulsa ranging from fiction to cook books.
"We give the people what they want and what they don't know they want," Martin said.
More information is available at booksmarttulsa.com and adamhaslett.net.
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