Red River Arts is proud to introduce you to our featured artist, Michael Washer.
In the early 1980s, my work began with large pencil drawings and sculptures in mixed media, welded steel and wood, as well as a few brown paper bag sculptures. The latter developed from my study of the paper masks of theatre/costume designer W.T. Benda. My passion even then was working with the human form, with its wide range of expression, and tension. At that time, most of my work was derived from the Scriptures, their themes and narratives being a place from which I found personal expression, relating the stories, narratives, Jewish themes and word studies to my own life.
In the mid 1990’s I began working with papers, using their textures, colors and values to develop three dimensional pieces called “Paper-Cutstructions", in which every shape is cut or torn pieces of paper. I then began to incorporate brown paper into paintings, and I developed “Oil-Constructions”, building up areas into three dimensions—working figuratively—over which I paint in oil. Many of the pieces were centered on Scriptural themes, musicians, dancers, and multi-cultural expressions.
My subject matter began to change in the mid-2000’s when I began to create large-scale themed projects and murals in Summer and became an Art Teacher during the year. Many of the images that I capture are interesting people in engaging environments, musicians and dancers which then develop into paintings, pastel pieces, or Oil-Constructions. I am still enthralled with the human form and I work figuratively to combine the human form, plant life, music, dance, and environments in layers to tell rich stories with a basic spiritual theme.