WHAT IF WHERE I AM IS WHAT I NEED?
Attention is the beginning of devotion
To Wisconsin, a Deep and Lasting Love
I have been painting the landscape for 20 years now. It was my first love. It is a subject that never ceases to enrich and humble my practice. With each painting I realize my limitations, and the beauty of those limitations. These last four years the subject of my landscape paintings has been Wisconsin, the glorious blaze of the sun falling behind the trees, towering metallic grain silos, those endless thick fields of fog and most recently the walk to the Milwaukee River, drawing the black locust trees that remind me of where I grew up in Oregon.
Staying Home is a series of drawings and paintings seen through the lens of home. This is not art about home as a place of escape from work, or from the outside world, but home as a place of new found potential, growth and meditation. Still lives, portraits, and interior paintings made in the last year, as we collectively spent our time inside. These paintings seek to understand the group experience of being isolated, re-finding a connection with our spaces and sitting with the deep longing for those we love.
What if where I am is what I need?
Ultimately this collection of works is about giving attention, attention to the outside world around us and a renewed investigation into the inner world of home. For me, they are the branches and the roots of a tree, the visible and the hidden, two means of being, equally important, each reaching towards growth, and each nurturing one another.
Abrahm Guthrie grew up in a small barn that the family before his had turned into a temporary house. His dad cut firewood on the weekends and taught every one of his children the importance of having two winters' worth of wood carefully stacked to dry in the woodshed. His mom taught him the potential of crystals and divined his future from a deck of animal-themed tarot cards. As a child he spent his life by a creek, eating dry ramen noodles and building spaceships to leave the planet. When his parents fought he and his sister were sent to their grandmother’s house. Their grandmother kept them busy feeding and grooming her varied collection of animals, which included, a fox, a doe, a family of opossum, a monkey, three or four rabbits, and a multitude of cats, dogs and chickens, to name a few. Nights there were spent listening to endless hours of dice roll across the tablecloth and watching alien documentaries that his uncle put on to help piece together the story of his abduction.
Abrahm Guthrie received his BFA from RISD in 2012 and his MFA from UW Madison in 2020. He recently finished a residency on the WormFarm in Reedsburg WI. He has been published in New American Paintings issue #143, Friend of The Artist Volume 13, and ArtMaze Magazine issue #27