Point A

The Federal Bear – 2012
Copyright Bryan Putnam

“I wondered if my motives for going into the wilderness might be more obscure, and more profound, than I had realized. While part of me was going into the mountains seeking the pleasures of exercise, self-reliance, accomplishment, and natural history, it seemed that another part was looking for things of which I had only a vague conscious awareness, as though a remote mountain or desert releases some innate human behavior, a kind of instinctive predilection for the mysterious.”
– David Rains Wallace, The Klamath Knot

My current, expanding body of work is the result of two and a half years of letting my thoughts go. As much as I have been exerting my creative influence on the characters and events that are the subject of my work, I feel they have influenced me even more. I have followed them about their world, all the while exploring my own. Sometimes I can see a direct correlation: as in the case of the mythical Esau, a figure that I created to personify mankind’s absurb ability to act upon the world, to create and destroy. Other times my characters keep me guessing. As I try to get to know them and the myriad of things they might represent and what functions they may have, I notice most of all that I am the one being led. Whatever forest Saul lurks through, be it physical or manifest only to the mind and spirit, I find myself learning, wading into that deep density as well. This is the most amazing thing about cultivating these stories – this is where art meets my life in a tangible and absolutely unsuperficial way. My greatest hope is to make work that has the ability to do this not only for me but for others as well.
Esau Study – 2011/12
Copyright Bryan Putnam

The past 2 years have been a prolific period for me as an artist – though not in the convential sense. In place of a large body of work I have only full sketchbooks, stacks of drawings, and a  continually deepening world of characters with which to adventure and explore. As the seasons again shift and I enter a new stage of creation – out of the incubatory phase and back into a more disciplined season of production – I felt it was important to begin this blog. I don’t know quite what it will be and I’m not going to exact any strict guidelines. My goal is simple: to update it regularly with (hopefully) interesting thoughts, ideas, process shots, new work and insight into the things I make – for me and for you. I imagine it will be a loose journal, as visual as it is written, documenting the places and things to which Saul and the others lead me. I put these things out there for that reason alone – that we can wonder together.

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