Hi everyone, my name is Nick Marshall. My recent work, _e_scapes,  is included in Main Street Art’s exhibition “Ink and Paper” and this post will hopefully give you a little more insight to my practice.

_e_scapes started with a series of photographs I made in 2012-13. The images depict found snapshots of seaside vacations that are floating in a chromatic pool of color sampled from the air or water in the vernacular images via the eye dropper tool.

_e_scape
_e_scape
_e_scapes
_e_scape

Shortly after making the photographs I started on a series of paintings that would eventually be exhibited under the same title and hang parallel to the image based works. I didn’t have a studio at the time so I was working out of the living room in my one bedroom apartment.

This would be a good time to mention what I do with the majority of my hours during the week. I’ve been working at the George Eastman Museum since 2010 and was promoted to manager of exhibitions and programs in 2013. In addition to overseeing the installation of the museums exhibitions, I work closely with the curators and creative director to design and layout the shows.  This usually includes us looking through swatch books and laughing at some of the absurdly named paint colors. A few of my personal favorites, “Grandma’s Sweater 787” and “Applesauce Cake 316-5”.

But really what was of interest to me was the way that the paint manufactures were assigning names and numbers to colors that were intended to represent nature, specifically air and water.

After an exhibition of the work at the Hartnett Gallery in Rochester, Tate Shaw, the director of Visual Studies Workshop, invited me to do a month long residency at VSW with the goal of making a book that would include some of the sketches I’d made for the paintings. I had never made a book before but I’d always wanted to so I jumped at the opportunity. At first my progress was a little slow. It was very difficult for me to take the sketches off the wall and not think about them that way. Once I got them in somewhat of a book form though the sequencing became really exciting and everything started to come together.

VSW Project Space
VSW Project Space (March 2015)
VSW Project Space (March 2015)
VSW Project Space (March 2015)

I also used my time at the residency to think about another series I’d been working on of straight images that I knew were related to color and the landscape but couldn’t quite figure out how to tie everything together. Seeing them in the space with the paint swatches made everything click and I began incorporating the swatches. This work is still in progress but it was an added bonus to working in the studio and being able to see these intersections of my work that I hadn’t previously.

VSW Project Space (March 2015)
VSW Project Space (March 2015)
VSW Project Space (March 2015)
VSW Project Space (March 2015)

At the end of the residency I had produced my first draft of the book.  Subsequent drafts would not include the suitcase images and the final version of the book has a different cover that was designed by Travis Johansen and I am MUCH happier with it.

1st draft of _e_scapes book
1st draft of _e_scapes book
1st draft of _e_scapes book
1st draft of _e_scapes book

The book starts with Dawn’s Early Light C57-1 and progresses through the day, enduring a rainstorm with the sun eventually coming back out and fading into a Peaceful Night 590F-7.

page layout from "_e_scapes"
page layout from “_e_scapes”
page layout from "_e_scapes"
page layout from “_e_scapes”
page layout from "_e_scapes"
page layout from “_e_scapes”
page layout from "_e_scapes"
page layout from “_e_scapes”

I hope you can make it out to see Ink and Paper at Main Street Arts. There are a lot of really great books and I’m grateful to be a part of the exhibition.

 Stop by Main Street Arts to see his artwork in our current exhibition, Ink and Paper (runs through Friday, March 25). 

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