In Case of Emergency Dial T For Tonka
Franklin Willis (MFA 1990)
Through the act of painting I wish to accomplish two objectives; one is to interpret my surroundings and the second is to illuminate momentary thoughts, moods, and feelings. I want the images of my art to reflect visual connotations of culture and heritage through landscape and still-life oil based paintings. In implementing a creative project, I work to produce several studies of each subject. With each painting, I take into consideration the content, color, and composition while working to explore a variety of different and yet, subtle creative perspectives. I will work on as many as three different paintings of one selected subject. This is especially apparent in the still-life paintings, which incorporates objects such as an iron skillet, old shoes, fish, wood, & teapots, to reflect envisioned ideas. The tonka based images started as demos for my introductory painting courses. These still-life images are used to present various problem solving solutions to oil based compositions. After observing several of these paintings together, I decided to produce a series of paintings based on tea pots & tonkas. The most positive element of these works, is the opportunity to demonstrate to my students how a painting can advance from a still-life image, a rendered composition, a color study, and progress through a creative process to a finished work of art that transitions to public presentation and observation.
This work is featured as part of Future Former: An Exhibition of Alumni Work. This exhibition honors the creative work and careers of all Stamps School alumni, creates an aspirational connection between generations of U-M artists and designers and current Stamps students, and inspires reflection during the university's Bicentennial year.