About the Artist
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Artist Statement

Questions? Email me at KevinPrattArt |at| Comcast.net

I like painting because viewers of paintings are willing to pause, to still look closely at paintings and find memories, aspirations, and meanings.

In summer 2019, I began painting in acrylics. Mostly I paint places where I would like to be - the Grand Canyon, the deserts, prairies and mountains of the West. Partly I paint because I love the textures, designs and colors of those experiences and feelings. I paint abstracts because those, too, can elicit unexpected emotion.

I am inspired by diverse artists: Clyde Aspevig, Damien Hirst, Joan Mitchell, Caravaggio, Matthew Higgenbotham, John Constable, Hiroshi Senju, Thomas Moran, Gerhard Richter, Monet, Utagawa Hiroshige, Gustav Vigeland.

I usually paint from black-and-white prints of my own photographs, or my own memories. Since I am partly color-blind, I do better arranging my own colors from memories than trying to match colors in a realistic color photo.

I began serious photography in 2004. But, in the past decade, most photography has become disposable entertainment - discarded as quickly as the empty plastic straw grabbed at a fast food joint. Smart phone cameras brought a flood of fun, quirky or happy memory instants that anyone can easily capture. That's great, yet with no more meaning than the flutter of a falling autumn leaf.! Paintings, on the other hand, seem more often to elicit deeper currents and challenging eddies.

I see things differently. I invite viewers to join in the enduring beauty of things that are hard to see - things that enunciate only in certain light, entice with their design and intrigue with pattern. I made difficult photographs of wildflowers, special lightings, fleeting instants, and tiny things.

In my prior scientific career, my goal was to help data researchers visualize patterns that they had never seen before. My goals in painting and photography are similar - to see and communicate things in new perspectives.

About the Artist
Kevin B. Pratt's work is in the permanent collection at Center for Fine Art Photography, Ft. Collins, Colorado and has been shown in galleries in Flagstaff, Tucson and Albuquerque. He has spoken on imaging techniques in Australia, Canada and the US.

Kevin has been taking art and photography classes on-and-off since grade school.  He began taking photos seriously when high resolution digital photography became available.  He uses a Sony A6300 camera. He paints with professional Liquitex acrylics.

His first career was as a commercial and natural resources trial and appeals lawyer.  His second career is computer application of artificial intelligence to very large data.  He is chief scientist at ZZAlpha Ltd.  He hasn't discovered his third career yet.

Some Opinions:
One learns to make very good art by studying the very good work of very good artists.  The only reason to peruse poor art, even when it is in famous museums and galleries, is to understand how it fails.

Definition of an artist: A person whose body of work communicates that she or he notices things differently.

The hardest thing in painting: Knowing when to stop and when not to stop.

If the composition is no good, the artwork is no good. Period.

Is a photograph art? Most photographs are no more art than grocery lists are literature.  What makes a photograph possibly art?  Design, lighting, texture, interest and no screw-ups.  If the photo includes a human or animal, there must be emotion and gesture also.

Nobody sees colors the same (even us color-blind folks).  All eyeballs are biologically varied.  All lights are different mixtures of colors.  Every camera records colors differently.  Every printer and projector show colors differently.  Every ink and pigment color ages differently.  Textures change perceived colors.  Nothing produces a "pure white" light.  A human standing on the moon looking at a rock in sunlight sees different colors than that same human standing on earth looking at the same rock would see.  Humans have poor eyes: bees and vultures see more colors than humans.  Even sounds can change how some humans perceive colors.

A proper photograph should blowup to large size and an up-close viewer should still find no processing artifacts.  Looking at a blown-up small .jpg is like listening to music on a 1950's AM radio. It was ok in 1950.

Photography is harder than painting.  The photographer seldom has more than a few instants to obtain his or her raw material - then the expression fades, the light changes, the wind rises,  the tiny hairs on the stamen wilt, and copulating flies alight on an object in the foreground.

A small wildflower is difficult to photograph artfully.  My goal is not to document a botanical specimen nor to demonstrate my expertise with an exotic camera or an image processing manipulation.  A wildflower is very alive, active and wild - unlike a preservative filled commercial bouquet positioned stoically on your kitchen table.  In the best of circumstances, one wildflower image in 100 will be usable.
All of my wildflower photos are taken in the field using a special lighting technique and manual camera settings that I developed to produce the white and black backgrounds that I favor. I don't "cut out" the flower from the background using photoshop or erase out the background foliage. That's why you can see all the microscopic filaments and patterns on the leaves, flowers, seeds and stems when my photos are enlarged. Look closely.

A long journey involves putting one foot in front of the other and never quitting.  Everyone has obstacles - best to find those folks who overcome them.

Most people want respect, justice and opportunity.  Most governments can't seem to remember that.