Andy Baird

Andy Baird, a fifth-generation Colorado native, lives and works in Evergreen, Colorado. He has worked as an artist and as an art educator on the secondary and graduate level for thirty years. Andy Baird earned his B.A. in Fine Arts and his M.A. in Fine Arts from the University of Northern Colorado, and his paintings and ceramics have been displayed in galleries and exhibitions throughout the United States and internationally.

At first glance, Andy Baird's current paintings seem to resemble the work of Jackson Pollock; but when the linear portraits begin to appear, the striking difference in the content becomes clear. The large, colorful portraits are created through light and dark values in a seemingly chaotic painting. Because the images are defined by light value, Andy is free from predictable use of colors. Vibrant color combinations allow the subject to intriguingly appear and disappear, actively engaging the viewer. His linear portraits measure approximately 7- to 8-feet tall and 5- to 6-feet wide. After preparing the canvas, he drips paint onto it as it lays on the floor, first creating a rough sketch of the features of his subject. The first two or three colors are designed to lock in the features of the face, keeping the image from completely disappearing as layers of colors are added. He adds up to nine colors each day, letting the layers dry between sessions. After a month of work, the finished painting will contain thirty to forty different colors.

"Each time I visit the painting, I drip paint either to lose the image or strengthen it. I build layers of color until I see in the painting that perfect quality that I'm looking for. The process is intriguing to me, especially when each painting takes on a life of its own, and the end result surprises and fascinates me. It's especially fun to share this experience. I like it that people find it interesting to study each painting, to think about its creation and to trace the lines of paint. This is artwork that actively involves the viewer, and when a viewer is invited to participate and enjoy, the art is more complete. The fascinating diversity of faces and the endless way to portray them captivates and connects us all."

Click here to read an interview with Andrew Baird.

Artwork

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Video

Andrew Baird is a gestural, action painter – that is, one who flings or drips paint onto canvas to form compositions, rather than using paintbrushes in the traditional manner. By combining the unlikely duo of portraiture – which thrives on likenesses and naturalness – with abstract expressionism – which tries to avoid likenesses and subjects from nature, Andy Baird has created a new and original hybrid art form: the action-painted portrait. Such originality and invention by mavericks creates new areas of value in art. Baird is one such genius.

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