‘The Allure of Beauty’
What is the allure of beauty?
It’s a lofty question, but area artist Jason Drake has 20 answers.
Drake, of Todd, will showcase new artwork during a solo exhibition at Blowing Rock Frameworks and Gallery. Titled “The Allure of Beauty,” the exhibition features 20 of Drake’s oil paintings, completed in a style he described as “traditional, classic and realist.”
Comprised of figurative and landscape subjects, “The Allure of Beauty” was conceived from Drake’s desire to provide a piece of beauty others can enjoy.
“I feel that in our day and culture, the sense and value of beauty has been lost in modern architecture and modern painting,” Drake said. “To have a piece of artwork that really elicits an emotional response from the viewer, I think, is most often felt with a painting that depicts something beautiful.”
What makes it beautiful, however, varies with each viewer.
“We can’t seem to articulate or quantify what is the value of having something beautiful, whether it’s a piece of architecture you can see or a painting,” Drake said. “I personally feel, especially as I hear people respond to the paintings … that it’s a subconscious response. When they see something beautiful, it gives them a sense of pleasure.”
In that regard, Drake strives to instill a sense of familiarity in each of his paintings, something to which his audience can identify — be it the distinctive outline of a church house window or the thoughtful expression on a worker’s face.
“To me, beauty is objective, because I sense its value for all of us,” Drake said.
The aforementioned worker is featured in a figurative painting, titled “A Time to Dream.” It depicts its subject sitting reflectively after finishing a woodworking job.
“I’ve known him for three or four years, and this seemed to represent him at the end of his work day,” Drake said. “He’s got this look in his eye of a man who’s dreaming of a career as an artist, but right now, he’s working to pay his bills.”
The painting, “Upstream,” combines both figurative and landscape aspects, depicting a young woman on the rocky bank of a river, gazing upstream. She, too, is an acquaintance of Drake’s.
“This young lady is about to graduate high school, but she has had a difficult upbringing,” he said. “Her single mom is doing a fantastic job with five children. This young lady looking at her future, to me, this whole composition suggested she has a very strong foundation … but she’s looking upstream because her life and all she’s been through are certainly things she’ll have to overcome.
“That’s a sense for the way I like to paint, for the people and things that influence me, all around us.”
Drake started painting as a child, and through high school, college and his military career, he continued to do so as a hobby. A decade ago, his medium shifted to oil and his focus to fine art.
“I have a degree in engineering and years of experience as a military pilot, so all of that comes from the left brain side of me,” he said, “and the artistic side, it gets overflowed into the details. So, you see these compositions and their detail. But I also really like to simplify the piece, because I want the viewer to be able to focus on that piece of the composition that attracted me, that got me interested and that I think they will identify with.”
Blowing Rock Frameworks and Gallery owner Tim Miller is excited to see the connections.
“I haven’t seen anything like this in years,” Miller said. “I’m just happy he’s here and that we can show it.”
Like so, Miller will host a reception for Drake on Saturday, June 21, from 5 to 8 p.m., featuring refreshments and a chance to meet with the artist. The show opened June 16 and will run through July 5.
Blowing Rock Frameworks and Gallery is located at 7539 Valley Blvd., in the Food Lion shopping center, in Blowing Rock. For more information, call (828) 295-0041, or visit http://www.blowingrockgalleries.com. For more on Jason Drake, visit http://www.jasondrake.com.