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Thayne Abraham is grounded in art

Artist Sketch

— — — — Name: Thayne Abraham — Hails From: Cape Main, New Jersey — Age: 24 — — — Training: Some schooling at SOU — Nitch: fusing classical techniques with a modern aesthetic — Inspiration: all the masters, beauty in nature — How long in Ashland: 11 years

Like many young artists, Thayne Abraham is still learning through his art. Looking for perfection within his nitch, Abraham is searching for what it is he can offer to a community through his talents.

Born into a Waldorf family with both parents working as teachers, Abraham spent a lot of time while young drawing and creating.

“Though art is defiantly not the main focus of the curriculum [of Waldorf], it is not completely denied like it is other educational systems in this country,” said Abraham, who attributes his love of art to being able to experience it from such a young age. “I continued to try to progress as much as I possibly could in between the other strange things in life.”

Hugely inspired by the natural world, Abraham creates pieces through a variety of mediums that try to convey the beauty that he feels is what makes existence so rich.

“Seeing beauty is profound on a level that is beyond my ability to understand,” said Abraham. “If you can get to a place where you can appreciate and see beauty, then you’re closer to something that is good in this world.”

This is extended when a person can convey that through his or her own creation.

“If you can hold long enough to represent it through your own hand, then you can feel like it’s a part of you,” he said. “In creating a piece, you can touch beauty. Maybe touching beauty is worth trying to do.”

Abraham continues working on the honing of his techniques to perfect a style in which to create a series. Often frustrated by the modern art movements that emphasis simplicity and accompany lengthy explanations, Abraham’s work fuses together classical techniques with modern aesthetics to convey a moment.

“I think a lot of things that have been taken seriously are just wastes of material,” he said. “It makes a bad name for modern art.”

Abraham finds art centering and grounding, a small but important thing at a time when the global community seems unstable and airborn. For this reason it is not surprising that Abraham’s art is deeply rooted in the exquisiteness of the natural world, which aesthetically pales compared to the the man-made world.

“Seeing real beauty in nature is like hope,” said Abraham. “It’s like the rainbow after the flood.”

Abraham described the tranquility he feels when gazing upon something stunning in the natural world when caught up in speed and stress of modern life. Those are the moments that he aspires to capture in what he does.

“As beauty comes into you, it can render peace that can just make you feel better,” said Abraham. “If I can capture that and if someone can hang that on their wall, every time they look at it they can experience a little twinge of that feeling, of that beauty. I feel like it can help in a subtle emotional way. If that view can come through a human hand then it’s like an acknowledgement of human appreciation, bringing it down to our level of consciousness. It doesn’t merely exist but it is realized through a human and, because of that, is easier to pass on to another human.”

As Abraham’s style continues to grew and change, he continues to add more content to his paintings and step up to new challenges. Currently, Abraham is working on a series for a show he has coming up in Brooklyn, New York, in September. This approaching event is forcing Abraham to step up to the plate and invest more time into his work, resulting in yet another step in solidifying his nitch.

“The show is really well advertised and a lot of people are going to be there, so I’m excited for that,” said Abraham. “Hopefully I will create some new stuff that will live up to expectations.”

One of the focuses of the show is to create an environment for artists to display work that express new styles, verses a collection of pieces that artists think will sell. In this vein, Abraham is able to continue with his work, get feedback, and persist on his journey to find his stride.

“To properly display what I want to display I need a sharp, well-refined technique,” he said. “The content is coming out better as the technique is slowly getting refined. When you can have a vision and then represent it, that’s when you’re doing really well. It’s incredibly hard to pull off, but its something to strive for.”

For that reason, Abraham feels fortunate to be in a community like Ashland, which offers appreciation to art, making an environment that is conducive to artists.

Abraham has pieces for sale in the Blue Giraffe and Oh Behave! If you have interest in seeing more of his art or getting in touch with the artist, he can be reached through either one of those locations.

Local artist receives grants

Garry Price has received a Grant from the William T. Colville Memorial Foundation. Price is a founding member of Phoenix Clay and Steelworks. A graduate of Southern Oregon University Price has a deep interest in Kiln technology and will develop working drawings for building high efficiency kilns using Venturi Burner Technology. He will disseminate this information through the PC and S web site www.phoenixclayandsteelworks.com and through periodic workshops.

Another aspect of Price’s grant participation is to develop the “Square Foot Art Project” a project to create a series of works that could be placed around Phoenix and Talent Oregon, with the participation of at risk kids and others.

William T. (Bill) Colville, benefactor, was a Santa Barbara watercolor artist born in Montecito, a beautiful, tiny section of Santa Barbara California and started to paint and draw when he was a child. His mother noticed his talent and hired an art teacher to mentor him. She was consistently supportive of his being an artist.

Though he grew up working in and for the family grocery business until his retirement, he was an active watercolorist right up until his death in October 2005.

During World War II, Bill was appropriately assigned to paint camouflage. Landscapes, homes, gardens, and the beautiful buildings of Santa Barbara were the primary subjects of his prolific body of work.

During his lifetime he enjoyed teaching classes and taking classes, traveling to Europe and other places to paint, and participating in shows where he could sell his work. He enjoyed gathering with other artists for critique-sessions. He wished this tradition to go on for other artists.

Bill’s approach to life and to art was humble, unpretentious, joyful, practical, and he was astonishingly prolific. The Memorial grants reflect this charm and sweetness.