Sunday, November 23, 2014

Artgazer Spotlight: Rebecca Kinsinger Bowman

When we moved into our house, I had the distinct privilege (and challenge) of figuring out just where all of our artwork needed to go. The presentation of a work of art can affect it's reception just as much as the work itself (i.e. El Jaleo at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum), and I wanted our art to be seen and appreciated. This inclination felt particularly strong for me with our original works and limited edition prints. It occurred to me, however, that these works would still have a limited viewership among our family and friends. I am so proud of and excited by the works I have accumulated (though the collection may be small), I want to share them with you! So, I'd like to introduce a new series: The Artgazer Spotlight.

Artgazer Spotlight: Rebecca Kinsinger Bowman
This first artist holds a special place in my heart because of her closeness to my family. My mother’s college roommate and long-time family friend Rebecca Bowman works out of southern Ohio. She achieved a BFA from Miami University in Oxford, OH, and comes from a strong line of artistically-gifted Kinsingers (i.e. her brother Jay builds gorgeous wooden bikes!).  

Though she dabbles across the artistic spectrum (for example, her college “Rock-Paint” jewelry), she has been finding success with her animal-detail paintings; specifically, with her detailed animal Totem paintings. The totems combine her great love of wildlife with her affinity for Native American history.

For those not familiar with animal Totems in Native American lore, the totem is a series of animal guides that an individual may call upon throughout their life "to get in touch with specific qualities found within an animal which the person needs, connects with, or feels a deep affinity toward." (Source) Animal guides are to advise and protect you throughout your earthly and spiritual journey, and you may have many different guides throughout the course of your life. 

A different friend had inspired me to investigate what my own Totem would be and after an in-depth search, I realized the Horse (My base, my values), the Rabbit (My earthly self), and the Hummingbird (my spiritual self) as my animals. To be clear, you do not just choose whatever animals sound cool to you - You pay attention for animals you see frequently, you dream about, or you feel connected to. My cousin Jimmy identifies with the Mountain Lion; Lacey with the Raven and the Dragon. I am pretty convinced my brother is a Cardinal and a Wolf.

For my graduate school graduation, Mom had Miss Becky create my Totem for me. Oh, how I cried when I pulled them out of the bag. Each canvas (6in x 8 in) had a lovely note written on the back. Husband (who at the time was still Boyfriend), also got emotional because the image of the rabbit looked remarkably like his boyhood pet rabbit, Nibbles. That intuitiveness and attention to who the recipients were made the gift even more special. It was the most incredible gift that I will cherish forever.

These Totem paintings are all typically on the 4 in x 5 in canvas. Miss Becky doesn't use that small space to force the entire animal form; rather, she selects a detailed, close-up shot to fill the composition. My hummingbird is an exception to this standard, as they are already so small. The detail within this small space is absolutely amazing (and my cruddy photographs do not do them any justice). I think the Hummingbird does a pretty good job of showing you the detail and attention Becky puts into her paintings.  

If you are looking for a unique, personal, special gift for a friend or loved one, I highly suggest you check Miss Becky out. I have seen pieces of owls, squirrels, sheep, various birds, tigers, dogs, pandas, lions, and lizards. You don't have to have your Totem figured all out - Even simply your favorite animal can turn into a wonderful painting keepsake you or the animal-lover in your life will love for a lifetime! 

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