Troy Collins

Western Art Collector - - CONTENTS - TROY COLLINS

Na­ture’s hues

In na­ture the birds sing, but so does the in­spi­ra­tion in Troy Collin’s new show, ti­tled A Song for the Sea­son, open­ing De­cem­ber 7 at Mock­ing­bird Gallery in Bend, Ore­gon.

Collins, who now lives in Hamil­ton, Mon­tana, once lived for a year in Bend and was en­am­ored with the nat­u­ral won­ders of cen­tral Ore­gon. He will re­turn to the gallery with nearly 20 new paint­ings, each of which ex­em­pli­fies as­pects of na­ture, from the color change in au­tumn, to the del­i­cate pres­ence of snow in quiet for­est scenes, to the mes­mer­iz­ing light that glows off the white bark of aspen trees. “When I’m in an aspen grove there’s just noth­ing else like it. The light and color is mag­nif­i­cent. I have some aspens on my prop­erty here in Hamil­ton and it’s a beau­ti­ful area. Aspens hold a unique power in the nat­u­ral world,” the artist says, adding that aspens are fre­quent sub­jects within his loose,

painterly style. “When I start a paint­ing I’m just look­ing for those dy­namic shapes, whether it’s the fo­liage in the fore­ground or the moun­tains in the back­ground. When I’m stand­ing in a scene, na­ture can al­most be over­whelm­ing, so you have to choose what to fo­cus on.”

Work­ing with thick im­pasto paint, Collins ap­proaches each paint­ing dif­fer­ently, from a more tra­di­tional way with the shapes blocked in then al­low­ing the paint to build up again and again, to an­other method en­tirely. “Some­times I’ll just put on rub­ber gloves and start glob­bing the paint on in big chunks. Ninety per­cent of the paint goes on in the first 10 per­cent of the paint­ing,” Collins says. “I’ll move it around, mix­ing di­rectly on the can­vas so it cre­ates thicker and more en­er­getic paint.”

New works in the Mock­ing­bird show in­clude Here in the Light, a work that fea­tures what must be ev­ery con­ceiv­able hue of green. “I put some green on the can­vas and I slowly be­gan mak­ing a whole har­mony of greens, in­clud­ing as they shifted into yel­low-greens and or­ange,” the painter says.

In Walk­ing in the Light, Collins pushes and pulls be­tween the fore­ground and back­ground, slowly find­ing a neu­tral place where both can work to­gether. “I have to be mind­ful to not have too much in­ten­sity in ei­ther, or else the paint­ing doesn’t work,” he says.

Other works in the De­cem­ber show in­clude Au­tumn’s Hymn and With a Song in Your Heart, two tall and nar­row works that show off the thin­ness and frag­ile na­ture of aspen trees, and An Early Win­ter Song, which presents a beau­ti­ful snow scene with dis­tant moun­tains framed within fall color.

The show con­tin­ues through Jan­uary 3, 2019, in Ore­gon.

Walk­ing in the Light, oil on can­vas, 48 x 60"

With a Song in Your Heart, oil on can­vas, 40 x 16”

Here in the Light, oil on can­vas, 48 x 36”

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