Michael Rhoades

 Raw and unframed abstract oil paintings inspired by the wondrous, raw and unframed Virginia landscape are the subject of the Virginia in the Raw exhibit.

Michael Rhoades is a multi-oriented artist. Working with mediums as diverse as Oil Painting, Digital Imaging, 3D Modeling and Computer-Generated Music, his constant goal is the expression of the quietness within..

The inspiration for the Virginia in the Raw exhibit was Michael's recent move to the Blacksburg, Virginia area. Using a pallet knife, no brushes, and 7 different colors of paint, including Black and White, 28 paintings were created over a 7-week period during the summer of 2015.

Michael's approach, regardless of the medium, is one of freeing the mind. For example, the paintings in this exhibit employed a "stream of consciousness" approach. Oil colors were mixed and then applied to the canvas in a loose manner until a form began to emerge. This form was then brought into focus just enough to provide hints and indications, which are meant as a framework in which the viewer can create meaning and structure from their own perspective.

Much in the same way that several Abstract Expressionist painters, such as Milton Resnick, used large brushes so they could not rely on their technical ability to paint, Michael works with pallet knives. His work is not focused upon the form of objects but instead on color relationships. Jagged and irregular shapes blend to make an overall composition that suggests spaces and contours while at the same time, a closer inspection reveals paint trowelled onto canvas. In the end, to quote Resnick, it is just "paint doing what paint does".

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