• Benjamin Brode to Exhibit His Paintings at Steinbeck: Art of Fiction Exhibit

    Sketches and paintings from his collaboration with Thomas Steinbeck

    By Dixie Layne

    Steinbeck: The Art of Fiction,” an exhibit of sculpture, photography, and paintings featuring artistic interpretations of the author’s fiction opened in Pacific Grove at the American Tin Cannery to celebrate the author’s enduring talent. In addition to the permanent exhibit, the show will include one-day showings and lectures by featured artists during its run.

    On Saturday, February 21, painter Benjamin Brode will join the exhibit to show a number of his original images that are a part of the artistic collaboration between author Thomas Steinbeck and artist Brode for the book: In Search of the Dark Watchers. At 6:00 Brode will discuss his process and work included in this collaborative work with his friend Thomas Steinbeck, who wrote the prologue and epilogue that created the perfect context for Brode’s landscape paintings of Big Sur. A wine reception will follow the lecture. Come see the story of the Dark Watchers in Brode’s work.

    About Benjamin Faye Brode:
    Brode spent his early years exploring the sleepy countryside of San Diego County. There, he developed a great love for the natural beauty of California. The son of artists, Brode was encouraged to be creative and engage life with an artistic sensibility. Throughout his career Brode exhibited mastery in many fields from graphic design to fine furniture and cabinet making. In 1998 he began the singular pursuit of painting with oils. Inspired by both early California impressionism and contemporary landscape painters, his style reflects the influences of George Innes, Arthur Mathews, Xavier Martinez, and Wolf Kahn.

    About the Dark Watcher Paintings:
    When visitors come to the Big Sur wilderness on California’s central coast, they’re often struck by how mystical and remote it feels. Some people even return with tales of encounters with a “presence” – a fleeting glimpse in the sun-dappled shadows, an eerie feeling in the stillness of the trees. Could such accounts be the result of a sensitive imagination or are they a validation that the Dark Watchers live on? Stories of these elusive beings persist and get passed down from generation to generation.”

    One evening Thomas Steinbeck told Brode about the legendary “watchers” who roam the wilds of Big Sur. The particulars of the account had been told to Steinbeck as a child. Steinbeck’s compelling tale took root in Brode’s imagination. He wondered if it might be possible to go to Big Sur and capture some of the Dark Watchers’ mystery on canvas. Not long after, he packed up his old VW van and headed north to New Camaldoli Hermitage near Lucia. Once there, Brode set aside time to quiet his heart, walk the trails, and sit in the woods… feeling and sketching everything. For three years, Brode focused on the Big Sur wilderness. The sketches and paintings from his sojourns are a part of the collaboration with Thomas Steinbeck for the book: In Search of the Dark Watchers.

     

    Brode painting from In Search of the Dark Watchers

    Brode painting from In Search of the Dark Watchers

     

    Book cover - In Search of the Dark Watchers

    Book cover – In Search of the Dark Watchers

     

    Ben Brode painting

    Ben Brode painting

     

    Ben Brode and Thom Steinbeck

    Ben Brode and Thom Steinbeck

    The exhibit runs through March 31, and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The exhibit not only includes the work of sculptor and exhibit organizer Lew Aytes, painter Warren Chang, photographer Robert Nease, and the late Robert Lewis’ historic photographs (1957-1958) of Cannery Row, and photographs from Pat Hathaway’s California Views collection. Future guest exhibitors will be announced.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on February 10, 2015

    Topics: Arts & Music, Front PG News

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