Artists stretch proportions to new limits in the upcoming exhibition Epic at Robert Lange Studios, as they present works that are their largest creations to date. The show, opening with a reception on May 4 from 6 to 8 p.m., is a journey for each of the artists to push their artistic abilities in paintings ranging from lands and citys to surrealistic worlds. Measuring 48 by 36 inches is Endurance by Brett Scheifflee, who had initially painted the lone tree landscape as a 10-inch square work. “While painting this, I remembered stories such as the Dyatlov Pass mystery in Russia, the terrible fate of the Donner Party and my own memories of winters in Colorado,” he says. “In the high country, there is an eerie silence when the wind stops and the snow falls steadily, sometimes you could hear an ‘unkindness’ of ravens that would break it, but usually nothing more than the tiny pecking of a bird doing its best to survive.
“When encountering wildlife—no matter the size, we do well to remember all they have made it through to greet us,” he continues. “That calls for respect and reverence, because the ‘be here now’ notion that is worn like a patch on the sleeve of many 21st-century, ‘new age’ types is the only m.o. they have ever known. Or in the words of
D.H. Lawrence, you could ‘miss your chance with one of the lords of life.’”
The whimsical world found in Nathan Durfee’s paintings is shown in a much larger size in his work Living the Oak Life, which depicts multiple birds and their houses in an oak tree. “In the past I have created paintings that anthropomorphize birds on an individual scale, but have always wondered what it would look like to expanded the concept to an entire ecosystem,” he says of the 60-by-72-inch painting.
Epic provided the ideal opportunity to explore this with the painting, but it was not without its trials. “The biggest challenge was physically positioning myself to paint close to the edges,” Durfee recalls. “One moment I’m lying on the floor painting grass [and] the next, I’m standing on a stool to paint the highest birds. At the end of the day I was tired both physically and mentally.”
KC Collins used the show as a chance to create two panoramic ocean paintings, Peak and Arrival, that are 2 feet high and span 6 feet wide.” I’ve been painting oceans and waves for years, but I’ve never painted to this scale,” says Collins. “The subject of a curling or crashing wave holds a lot of energy, which can be very powerful for the viewer. Painting large-scale makes it all the more commanding.”
Epic will hang at the Charleston, South Carolina, gallery through May 25.
Robert Lange Studios 2 Queen Street, Charleston, SC 29401 (843) 805-8052 • www.robertlangestudios.com
Nathan Durfee, Living the Oak Life, oil, 60 x 72"
KC Collins, Arrival, oil on canvas, 24 x 72"
Brett Scheifflee, Endurance, oil on canvas, 48 x 36"