“Energy and motion are the bottom line,” says Durango artist Ed Bolster.
His new show, “Extended Gestures,” which will open tonight (Jan. 6) in the Durango Arts Center library, offered him the chance to go back to basics with his work. On Wednesday afternoon, the library space was abuzz with activity as Bolster and his helpers were hanging the exhibit.
The works that make up “Extended Gestures” are a mix of ink and paint drawings on cotton paper of models in various poses. Bolster’s use of lines to make figures gives them the appearance of motion, without a lot of distracting detail.
“This is alittle different for me because my background is actually as a ceramics sculptor,” he says. “Though I’m a ceramics sculptor and potter, I am formally trained, and so drawing is ... so the leap isn’t so much a leap as a going back to the essentials because the drawing is an essential human activity with art; all the same concerns are involved, whether it’s a sculpture or a drawing. It’s just a way of going back to the basics.”
The pieces in the exhibit are pulled from the past three years of Bolster’s drawings. Along with being an artist, Bolster has also been teaching students how to draw with models.
Getting down to the nitty gritty of a subject is something that takes work and, Bolster says, it’s when you let yourself truly immerse yourself into what you’re doing – reaching “the zone” – that’s when you get it.
“That’s the challenge; that’s the Zen of it,” he says. “The title of the show is ‘Extended Gestures,’ and it’s based on gestured drawings. What it is is approaching a figure or anything you’re drawing, finding the gesture that is within that pose, so what you’re doing is trying to find movement. part of it is kind of a meditative thing; you get into the Zen of the pose. The detail comes as you evolve out. And then when you’re in the zone, then maybe – it’s like playing music or any of the arts, you get into a zone. and then you go where the zone takes you.”
And, Bolster says, it’s a pretty enjoyable thing to do.
“Oh, yeah,” he says. “These are energy things, just like all the arts: Does a musician have fun when they’re playing music? I do have fun.”