Ripple in Still Water
Born and raised in South Lake Tahoe, CA, Craig Newman became an artist in his living room while following along to Bob Ross using crayons. While in high school, he was able to start taking art classes at Lake Tahoe Community College with his now mentor of twenty one years, esteemed artist Phyllis Shafer. Craig's inspiration for his fantasy landscapes comes from Phyllis's teachings, and Phyllis even created a class specifically for Craig because he just couldn't follow the rules when he was fifteen years old, entitled Figurative and Narrative Painting. In this class, he was able to really dive into his creative psyche and come up with a series of innovative oil paintings.
This exhibition, “Ripple in Still Water'' is inspired by my favorite Grateful Dead song called “Ripple”. These pieces are an exploration of the rhythm and flow of nature. I am a born and raised Tahoe native and when I was a small child, I used to sit next to my favorite place to read next to the river. Sometimes I would stare at the water moving by watching all the whirlpools, lines, and ripples and would be completely immersed and entranced by the phenomenon that is moving water. One of the lines from the song, “Ripple” says, “When there is no pebble tossed, no wind to blow.” Once a ripple starts it does cease to flow.
Since I was a teenager I’ve been studying art with Phyllis Shafer; everything I am as an artist blossomed because of her. She taught me to capture movement, light, and the emotion that takes place in the fleeting moment. I tend to break the rules, challenge what is, and frustrate authority.
Phyllis took this as an opportunity to help me develop my creative imagination with a focused narrative and lots of symbolism to shape and mature me artistically. She created a class entitled, “Narrative and Symbolism” inspired by me and other students like me.
My art is a culmination of 25 years studying with Phyllis. The pieces are bathed in saturated color that vibrates, pulses, and grabs the attention of the viewer. I use color to invoke a sense of calm. I place great value in opposites such as light next to dark and orange next to blue. I’ll guide your eyes with directional lines and spiraling corkscrews. Let me take you on a ride into my world.
With love and appreciation, grace and humility to you, to you I am thankful.
“I try to capture movement, light and the emotion that takes place. I try to emphasize a lot more color contrast because I want to catch the moment of being in that place.”