Busted spark plugs, rusted shrapnel and bullet-ridden propane tanks may not sound like muses to many people, but to artist Jason Hugger, such discarded objects inspire surrealistic desert landscape paintings.
In “Desolate Wind”, what appears to have once been part of a small circuit board now looks like a large structure in a stark, flat patch of land, its diminutive diodes reborn into windows, its small switching transistors turned into eye-catching embellishments.
“The Sunbird” is an oil-on-canvas depiction of an old, bent saw blade rendered huge and looming over some smaller, unidentifiable metal bits in an undulating wave of maize-colored desert. There’s a large hole near what would have been the hilt of the saw blade, emulating an eye, which helps to give the object the appearance of a bird skull.
In these paintings, as in most of Hugger’s works, the subjects have angles, curves and depth that give them the appearance of animation – sort of like dilapidated architecture dancing in the desert. You could call Hugger’s paintings “still life,” but it might be more accurate to call them “new life.”
“The types of objects I select to use as reference for my paintings are usually heavily rusted and broken pieces of metal. Often I am not able to identify them and I find that intriguing,” Hugger says. “Reusing them gives them a second life and a beauty they may not have originally had as tools or other useful items.”
Hugger started drawing in perspective and realism when he was a teenager and received a scholarship to attend the Columbus College of Art and Design, from which he graduated cum laude in 1995. While he was finishing his college education in Ohio, he participated in a group show at the 11 East Ashland Gallery in Phoenix, where an exciting local art scene was beginning to emerge. “It was during the spring time and I fell in love with the desert,” Hugger says. “The city of Phoenix was also very appealing. I drove out to the desert and found the landscape to be surreal. The plants, the cactus, the saguaros – all of it was weird and beautiful to me.”
His bond with the desert deepened while he was stationed in Iraq in 2004 as a member of the Arizona Army National Guard. “The desert was much more desolate than the Sonoran desert, but had a stark beauty of its own,” recalls Hugger, who lives in Phoenix with his wife. “I made a lot of sketches during my tour and they definitely had an influence in my surreal desert landscapes. I don’t paint cactus in my desert landscapes but they do inform my imagination when I put together a set up for a still life.”
Painting is an exploration for Hugger, who uses extremes in scale and perspective and color and light to create drama. “When I paint a still life, I am not just describing the objects in front of me,” he says. “I am also exploring the scene as if I were going there in person.”
Pamela Pachmayr knows she was created to create - she was created by the Creator to be an artist, to co-create with the Spirit’s inspiration. Living within her purpose and passion brings immense joy and fulfillment to her life.
With a professional career as a graphic designer, photographer, photo retoucher, and teacher, Pamela has returned to her love of painting, with a renewed sense of purpose and greater joy. Pamela’s paintings have been selected for shows in Italy, and throughout the US including California, Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, Texas, and currently in Arizona where she now resides and is a member of the Arizona Artists Guild.
Pamela started oil painting at age eleven – art was always her niche and happy place. In college, Pamela received her BFA degree in painting, with a minor in Art History. She received an Art Scholarship, studied abroad for a semester at Studio Arts Center International in Florence, Italy, traveled throughout Europe going from museum to museum, then returned to the US and graduated, culminating with a one-woman show of her artwork.
Pamela has learned transformation and healing can even come from a desert place. One of her consistent themes is blooming where you’re planted. She loves seeing the beautiful buds that bloom in contrast to the sharp cactus needles. Pamela’s faith inspires her, and she sees it all around her in the beauty of nature, reminding her of God’s love and presence. Pamela is inspired by truth, beauty, light, and hope.
“My themes are all based on my relationship with my Creator, my own personal struggles, and inspiration from the Spirit.”
Pamela’s sense of color and light is exquisite, and the textures and layers she creates add to the beauty and uniqueness of her art.
She enjoys connecting with artists around the world as well as locally to build relationships and encourage other artists in their creative endeavors.
Richard DiGiacomo, of Russian and Italian descent, is an accomplished artist who is known for his innovative approach to coloration. As a master of his craft, Richard has been nationally rated in the top 5% in his field for his coloration techniques. For more than 35 years, he has worked with celebrities, noted interior designers and leading institutions. His work has earned numerous awards of excellence, has been displayed regularly on television and has been featured on radio. Transplanted to Maui, Hawaii in 2010, Richard was ascended to a new level of artistic ability with his newly-created metal fused art. Created by the etching of aluminum panels and color, and fused with various techniques, his technique calls for many coats of clear seals, applied to create depth and movement.
“I have an exhilarating passion to fuse color and creativity onto metal panels. That comes from my compassion to impact lives with new vision, motivation and inspiration. In decades of working with men and women, who have faced difficulty in life, find spiritual strength, I’ve learned to impart beauty, amazement and joy to the recipient, creating a tranquil and peaceful atmosphere. That can change lives. My sole accomplishment and reward for my work, he explains, is to see the smiling faces reflecting back from my work and having the privilege to know that I’ve added joy and inspiration to a human life." - Richard DiGiacomo
I have a love of history as well and a "small" obsession with vintage clothing. Whenever possible, I will use parts from my collection in my fine art work. Taking a piece of the past and intertwining it with a piece of my imagination, breathing into it new life, like an old soul.
I am a traveler and an explorer at heart. I want to visit new worlds, bringing a new dimension to my reality and allowing me to learn things about myself and my own world in ways I would not have imagined. Difference in landscapes, light, and people can have such an impact on one's existence and enhance their mind.
I often find myself hearing a song or reading a book and seeing this image in my head, I have the urge to bring it to life in such a unique way . A way that makes you wonder and possibly think about the world the same way as when you were younger and everything was possible.
I hope my art makes you feel and dream and want to explore. I hope it takes you somewhere you have not been to yet, and if anything I hope maybe it helps you know yourself a bit better than you may have before.
Josh has been drawing since he could pick up a crayon. He started tattooing in 1994 and painting in 1996. Throughout the years he has made it a point to master as many mediums as he can. Being proficient in Oil, Acrylic, and Watercolor, he finds himself at home in front of an easel. He also works in Digital Design, Sculpture, Engraving and is comfortable with an Airbrush as well. Mostly self educated in art, he has devoted his life to the study of the elements of visual art. You can view Josh's artwork at Iron Key Tattoo and Studio Gallery in Peoria Arizona. For Commissions Inquiries Contact Josh at SonoranSkinDesign@Gmail.com
Chanse was born running with a pencil in both hands. Without formal training in any art form he relies on a wild imagination, a lifetimes worth of overthought, sleepless nature, and brute force pencil therapy. Once a submariner and later in the microprocessor industry, Chanse now owns and operates the Colored Pencil Cartel Art Studio. After a decade and a half of practice with a #2 pencil on every surface, he didn't pick up colored pencils until early 2014 but quickly passed through the realism phase that got him interested in the medium to begin with. He is now one of the few surrealism artists using primarily colored pencils. With an incredible eye for detail and a myriad of bright colors, he portrays the gray areas of contrast within society, using little more than his imagination for reference. Where words and actions meet feelings and contrasting belief structures, he mirrors the pain and beauty of existence to depict the harshest truths of life as he sees it with a surprisingly cohesive use of opposing ideas.