Santa Fe, NM
Giacobbe-Fritz Fine Art, August 14-30
This story was featured in the August 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art August 2015 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!
Every morning Craig Kosak greets the animals who pass through his 5-acre property on Whidbey Island off the coast of Washington state. He keeps an eye out for the island’s great horned owls, deer, snow geese, juncos, red-tailed hawks, and coyotes, but he is especially pleased when he sees Luna and Orion, two ravens who regularly stop by. Kosak calls his property Ravendell, in honor of the intelligent and intriguing birds he often portrays in his work.
Ravens are prominently featured in Kosak’s new show entitled The Solitude of Ravendell, Part 2: Raven Clan, which opens at Giacobbe-Fritz Fine Art with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, August 14, and runs through August 30. The 16 oil paintings in the show are a continuation of works begun in 2012 when Kosak moved from Seattle—where he had been a graphic designer for 30 years—to Whidbey Island.
“When I moved, I knew my life would be about solitude,” says Kosak, who used to visit the island for weekend getaways. “My intention from the beginning was to paint what was around me, especially the animals.”
Eight years ago Kosak thought he was going to be a landscape painter, so he took a road trip through many of the West’s national parks to gain inspiration. During a hike in Grand Teton National Park, his interest in the landscape took a back seat to the animals. “Two ravens followed me for quite a while,” he recalls. “It was captivating. They would drop pine cones on me as I walked along the trail. That’s when my fascination with ravens began.”
A wide variety of animals, as well as the surrounding sea and sky, are finding their way into Kosak’s paintings. In SARATOGA MOONRISE a lone junco basks in the light from a full moon. MIGRATION, RETURN OF THE SNOW GEESE hints at fall and the change of seasons, with four geese flying through a color-graded sky. THE PROMISE portrays two ravens, each holding a wedding band in its beak.
While last year’s work focused on exploring the subject matter, this year’s paintings are about sharing feelings. Kosak’s crucial tool for communicating his feelings is color. “Color has been a much more important element in my work this year,” he explains. “My colors have become bolder. For me, color evokes an emotional response to the subject matter. My paintings make me feel really happy.”
“The Solitude of Ravendell series is a big hit with Craig’s collectors as well as many new admirers,” says Palin Wiltshire, director of Giacobbe-Fritz Fine Art. “They are enjoying the creatures that inhabit the island where Craig has made his new home. They are discovering and talking about the new, textured swirls that swim just under the surface of these paintings. It’s simply joyful to see what’s coming up next from this innovative artist.” —Emily Van Cleve
Featured in the August 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
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