- by firstname.lastname@example.org
- June 30th, 2015
The common phrase, “stop and smell the roses,” reminds us to appreciate the little things in life, to find the happiness and peace that exists in the beauty around us. Florida painter Michael Ethridge’s take on this idiom is instead to “stop and gaze into a painting.” As an artist, he is encouraging us to pause, forget our surroundings and allow the beauty and joy we experience from a work of art give us peace and contentment for a moment.
“My paintings endorse feelings of endless time and give a picture of eternity,” says Ethridge. “They take the focus off everyday living.”
For The Art of Emotion, Ethridge is asking viewers to take time in front of his abstract seascapes and allow the emotions his work evokes to relax the mind and heighten the senses. Three series of paintings will allow viewers to visually experience three subconscious feelings that are often associated with Ethridge’s work: serenity, harmony, and wonder. Each emotion will be illustrated through a series of paintings that give color and composition to their corresponding abstract thought. Ethridge will stay true to his painterly style across this body of work – abstract seascapes with layered texture and dazzling color – but with a different color palette and inspiration for each series.
Michael Ethridge grew up in Wynne, Arkansas; he continued to live and work in his home state until his recent move to Florida in 2014. The Serenity series captures the beauty of this time in Etrhridge’s life, as well as the comfort and serenity he felt growing up. Earth tones, including deep reds, oranges and golds, are used to represent various elements of Arkansas’ natural beauty and Ethridge’s outdoor experiences there.
As a young man, Ethridge spent a year as a professional entertainer on a Caribbean cruise ship. After this experience, music and tropical landscapes both became avenues of inspiration for his work. Ethridge fell in love with the harmony of sky and water, the comfort of the waves, and the lush tropical forest. The Harmony series focuses on this coexistence of sea and sky through various shades of blue as well as Ethridge’s signature turquoise. Gold light in the sky and wispy lavender in the clouds are reflected in the wave caps, illustrating the natural harmony of the Caribbean landscape as well as Ethridge’s current surroundings in Naples, Florida.
The Wonder series is a glimpse into the unknown. These paintings are an expression of an imaginative beauty we haven’t yet experienced in our lifetime. A blend of complimentary colors and a composite of the hues represented in the Serenity and Harmony series’ create a palette not found in nature, one that represents the unpredictable and unknown parts of the universe that we often wonder about.