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Red White & Blue Brick Painting

Don West

United States

Painting, Oil on Canvas

Size: 20 W x 16 H x 1.5 D in

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About The Artwork

The first of several brick and concrete block still lifes, this work came about as I began to work in realism using oil paints. In 2009, I saw a blue brick painting by Chris Rush. A year and a half later, I saw an image of a white brick painted by Odd Nerdrum, online. “The White Brick” (16” x 20” oil on canvas) is now in the Walker Museum. When I first saw this image, it occurred to me that Rush might’ve gotten his inspiration to paint a brick still life from Nerdrum’s white brick. I assumed that he knew Odd’s piece, although he treated his blue brick entirely different (22” x 33” oil on masonite.) Since I used common red bricks to keep canvases off the ground as I poured them in acrylics outdoors, I was the proud possessor of an incidentally painted red, white and blue brick. So I couldn’t resist doing a brick portrait, a still life of my own. Though my composition is different than the others, the piece is done in the same size and material as the Nerdrum piece. First Nerdrum does a white one, Rush: a blue to follow and then West does red, white and blue; it was inevitable. When I mentioned this to Rush in an email, he responded that “he loves the way ideas get around.”

Details & Dimensions

Painting:Oil on Canvas

Original:One-of-a-kind Artwork

Size:20 W x 16 H x 1.5 D in

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I am a Tucson painter whose work is continually evolving, moving between styles, approaches and mediums. My background in theater arts informs my work and process. Essentially, my paintings are about line, color, surface, composition, texture, space, place and beauty. Process, incident and intuition sustain me. I replace the figure or the subject with a brush mark or a series of brush marks, creating something tangible, timeless and universal. I may do this in any medium, using found objects or constructions, directly or through resist materials. Among things like subject or style, my work is about feeling, the art and the act of painting, itself. Mine is also free ranging, sometimes gestural, sometimes genre-crossing work about light, energy, mark making, relationship and the landscape of illusion. I was born in Murray, Kentucky in 1946 but grew up in Detroit, Michigan. When I first saw the Van Gogh self portrait at the Detroit Institute of Art on a grade school field trip, I knew I’d become a painter. Drawing and painting since childhood, I studied painting as a post-graduate at the University of Arizona with Bruce McGrew, Charles Hall, and Philip Melton and at the Tucson Museum of Art School with Monica Jost and James Christopher Larsen. I also studied Scientific Illustration with Don Saynor at the U of A. Most recently, I studied oil painting with Alyssa Monks at the New York Academy of Art in 2011. I have shown work in galleries and museums across the country including Detroit, Chicago, Santa Fe and San Diego. I undertook painting seriously at the age of thirty in 1977 and have won a number of awards and honors. (Don West Fine Art See my interview in the Sonoran Arts Network (

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