Abstract Creations In Oil Paintings by David Castleberry
The Gallery Introductions
Vivid, color drenched, exciting, dazzling are just a few of the comments overheard about these Abstract Creations in Oil.
Bold patterns march across the surface of David's intriguing compositions.
Visual stories unfold, capturing the imagination and delighting at the same time. Bright hues illuminate the strong designs and rhythms of the paintings.
Vast seascapes, trees piercing the sky, fire raging and surging as shapes metamorphose, wondrous sunsets fill the heavens and much more form the rich Image Poems that are David’s signature art.
Check out the OPB (Oregon Public Broadcasting) online video of David Castleberry's Shaped Fish Exhibition
at Southwest Oregon Regional Airport, North Bend Oregon.
Click on the title of each section to view David's Oil paintings...
The narrative begins with hearts on fire being consumed in a raging inferno that can’t be stopped.
It is the story of my Mother’s life as Alzheimer’s destroys her memory and shatters her very self. It is a journey of losing someone you love and finding a new person to love who shares the same body, but is not the same. Watching a life deconstruct, experiencing a person who recedes further from you each day in their mind, but stays close in their body is one of the most emotional experiences of my life.
And yet the ties of love remain. The person who remains is wonderful in a unique way. I begin to cherish the new person and love her for who she has become. Trying not to live in the past of who she was.
Through my Oil Paintings I have found a way to share how I feel and am.
To me, trees have always been a metaphor for people. Their struggles are fought in a singular place. They can not run, they must wait, and yet they thrive.
My Oil Painting series on trees which bare strange marks and patterns came from watching people with tattoos. Those markings people adorn their bodies with.
I explored in my mind what trees might chose to illustrate their trunks and branches. What would a tree clothe it’s surface with to mark the passages of it’s life?
What is so important that it would have a need to change the surface of it’s body? Is it a cry to be different? Or to remember? Or to be something that it isn’t? Use of a body as the canvas on which to paint is fascinating to me.
The trees try to communicate to those around them, to visually share what is important.
The liquid world that pools itself next to the dry earth speaks of life in the presence of death.
Having grown up in areas of dry riverbeds and little rain being the norm, water is like a life generating blood that flows so close, yet always seems just a bit out of reach.
I now live on a coast that has an abundantance of water images from rain, rivers and ocean. It seems I am confronted by the vastness of plenty as I watch others deal with scarcity.
The inherent beauty of the sea with its reflections of light and heaven, the river with its gentle march throughout the land, and at times the constant drum beat of the rain stomping on the studio roof, all generate images that find their way to the surface of my oil paintings.
I am intrigued with breaking the straight sided border on some of my compositions.
For a number of years of I expressed myself through fiber. I liked the plastic nature that made the fiber works resemble skin and drape in a organic way.
The irregular nature of the border of the composition lends itself to greater freedom. No longer held in a rigid shape, I am free to include only what I want. I do not have to fill spaces in the background. The composition is free to be all there is.
This process leads to a much more difficult presention and challenges the viewer to define what the shape of art is. The subjects can be fun, beautiful and unsettling all at once. Just like all art.
These works reject any fast and easy characterization. They are ideas that sprang up and I followed where ever they took me.
For me, I must always follow my heart, where ever that leads, for however long it takes. I don’t count the hours an art piece takes. It takes as long as needed to be finished. Some are fast, others take years. Some lead to places that I enjoy, others not. But they all lead me to someplace I need to see and to paint something I need to paint.
Exploring the construction of buildings and structures engages me. Trying to make sense of forms and their uses generates a plethora of ideas.
After seeing the cathedrals of Europe I came home to see the grain elevators as American cathedrals. Great jutting forms of steel that rose from the flat land and raked the clouds.
I was struck by the hope that both the European and the American versions contained. One for the world interacting with the divine and the other holding the food of life. Both holding the promise of finding something when visited.
I like to blend ideas that create more than just what is presented and cause the viewer to come up with their own conclusions of what is "art".
The natural world with its forms, smells, and its limitless ability to astonish the viewer, is a treasure load of inspiration for me. From majestic waves thundering onto the beach all the way to clouds rolling across the heavens, there is no end to the change and beauty.
One of the joys of creating an oil painting, is it allows the artist to enhance what you wish for the viewer to see. When one is free of having to depict only the "real" look of an object, art takes place. Adding emotion is what changes an image into a piece of art. It is what captures me and gives me joy. It is what keeps bringing me back to nature.