By exploring such vital themes as time, beauty and suppression, Brian Bailey creates powerful images that invite contemplation. He uses the still life genre as a primary vehicle in his paintings to depict subtle metaphor regarding nature and its fragility.
In particular, he has a great affinity for featuring natural objects. From bird nests and shells, to stones and bones, he continuously collects and studies them. Not only does he love to explore their color and sculptural qualities, but he strives to inspire viewers of his paintings to take the time needed to appreciate and preserve the natural world.
For example, his impactful Andaman (below) highlights the contrast between organic forms and geometric shapes to create visual tension. The backstory: While digging in his garden, Bailey found an old piece of tile which had a bit of blue paint on it. The pattern of the peeling paint reminded him of an overhead view of the geography of the part of south Thailand that’s bounded in the west by the Andaman Sea, a place where Bailey has spent time picking up shells on the beach. Thus, the idea for this painting began. “I don’t always think about it at first, but as I’m working on a composition, during the process, it all begins to make sense to me, inferring perhaps a reason or personal meaning behind the image,” he says. “When I found that tile and was reminded of times beachcombing by that sea, I also remembered being told at the time of serious concerns about rising sea levels, so this painting carries implications of my concern about rising sea levels.”
Learn more about Bailey, and the meanings behind some of his other still life paintings, in the December 2015 issue of Pastel Journal, available in print or as a download at northlightshop.com, and on newsstands November 10.