November promises to be a special month at Seager Gray Gallery. In addition to Chris Gwaltney: Hiding in Plain Sight we have a special exhibition in Gallery III of works on paper by Tim Craighead.
“I try to paint what I believe in,” says Craighead, “eliminating any marks or images which feel disingenuous, listening to what the painting is telling me to do rather than imposing my will on the work.” His interplay between vaguely representational symbols and pure abstraction allows him to get beyond what we see and into a more mystical realm that doesn’t seek to define itself literally. It is a slippery edge to navigate and Craighead has spent a lifetime examining its possibilities.
Craighead’s process is rigorous. He is plagued by demanding demons – a kind of honesty police. He is skilled, both as a painter and a printmaker and could easily produce pleasing works, but it is that something just beyond reach that compels him.
Constructing paintings which operate on the borders of cognition provides an open field upon which a multitude of memories and meanings might be triggered. These works contain personal narratives, but in their abstraction, he hopes to create enough room that others might be provoked to enter them with their own memories. His efforts are not to describe but to conjure up the magic in the experience.