This year, we had more than 200 entries in our cover contest — and the competition was stiff. Here, we take you behind the easel of our winner, share the inspiration behind his work and introduce you to the 10 runners-up (in no particular order).
The Comfort of Your Inner Vivaldi
26" x 32", oil on canvas
Ranking among Marin’s many attributes is the bevy of talented artists who call the county home and tap into the landscapes and people as creative inspiration. And for Jeffrey Beauchamp, our 2011 cover contest winner, Marin is both home and muse. We recently stopped in at his Fairfax studio and were delighted to see his winning piece in person, as well as check out the portraits and landscapes that compose his body of work.
Beauchamp describes his style as “subpastoral expressionism,” which he came up with first as a joke for a show in San Francisco a few years ago but then began to like. “It sounds disapproving, like ‘subhuman,’ as if it’s below anything really pastoral but makes sense if you imagine my earlier, Monet- and Turner-inspired works exploded a bit with the color turned up,” he explains. His influences range from Rubens and Titian to early Bugs Bunny cartoons. “They’re like Goya meets Puccini in Oz,” he says of the Warner Brothers productions. His contemporary heroes include John Currin, Neo Rauch and local woodcut-meister Tom Killion: “They’ve each got the courage of their convictions coupled with fierce creative chops and produce some very different and beautiful things.”
As for his winning piece and its inspiration, Beauchamp says it evolved over many weeks and months, as with all his landscapes. “The inspiration would come around occasionally as I’d catch glimpses of an enticingly believable space among the chaos of brushstrokes,” he recalls. “That elusive state, where the imagination recognizes something timeless, a story you’d like to be part of or a view you’d happily lose yourself in, has been inspiring from early on and is a feeling I’ve always had with certain literature and music that encourages a sense of humanity, like works by Dickens and Vivaldi.”
You can view Beauchamp’s work during his upcoming open studio May 7, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 2096 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in Fairfax. You can also visit his website at jeffreybeauchamp.com. Prints of his work are available through artbrokersinc.com.