Have you heard of Walton Ford?
The artist famous for this watercolor paintings of animals?
Intricately painted but a little surreal, Ford starts with reality and lets his work drift slightly into the strange abyss of what could have happened. And most of his work is wild and evocative, sometimes violent; other pieces have a quietness.
I heard Ford speak last night in a really intimate and casual setting at Neuehouse, and it was really interesting. His process is so detailed: he pours over books from travelers of centuries past, and once he finds the perfect animal tale he begins to look into the way their fur moves, how their bodies flex… And then he paints.
Tasmanian tigers in a furious cycle of their own demise; flocks of passenger pigeons falling with the weight of a broken tree bough; a young gorilla in a zeppelin en route from Germany to America. All such surreal circumstances, but anchored in truth.
But what I loved the most about it all was Ford’s mention that his passion for drawing animals began when he was 9 (and he’s now 55). It made me think of how brave that is — to follow your childhood passion no matter what.
So, what do you think of his work?