About the Art

It is early and I am just getting this blog set up but I'll say a bit about the art.  You are seeing only a few of the elk series at this time but there are many more works ... too many to think about.  But this elk series was done recently ... initially in protest.  I have seen the regional market interested (almost exclusively) in paintings of fish, horses, landscapes and elk while rejecting anything too odd and the non-objective.  As a painter, I am much more interested in making people "think" than in creating something "pretty".  I was playing with totally non-objective compositions (about a year and a half ago) when I became "pissed off" with the regional aesthetic sensibilities (tastes).  I told my wife Christie "I'll give the people their damn elk" and I angrily pounded out a cow elk over the surface of one of my non-objective compositions.  It felt good.  It actually looked good ... so I did another ... and another and another.  From May 29th, 2010 until June 29th, 2010 I produced 15 paintings. Several measured 3x4 feet, two measured 4 by nearly 6 feet and others were on paper, 22x30 inches.  The cow elk, I realized (or invented during the process), was the elk I shot and ate 5 years earlier.  She is the only elk I have ever killed and I feel sorrow for her sacrifice.  I found myself thanking her (prayer) for her image in the same way I thanked her 5 years earlier for her meat.  I found myself painting quietly ... no music ... no interruptions ... like hunting (moving like a sloth, thinking like a wolf).  An exhibition of these works was captured in a "rough field recording" last November and can be viewed on You Tube by typing in Jim Baken Art.  The expressionist work captures the chaos found in "wild Montana", the violence of the hunt, the noise and the mess of "dressing out" the animal.  The animal is found to "blend into it's surroundings" and the figure becomes the "nude model" with its sensuous and poetic lines (feminine) playing against the bold (masculine) action painting.  The golden means (1:1.618) has been utilized in the larger canvases to further and more accurately replicate Nature.