Ripon artist Daniel Volkmann to show work at 314 starting Friday

The exhibit “Figure Drawings and ‘Go Figure’ Paintings” will open Dec. 9 at 314: Ripon College Project Space, in downtown Ripon. The artist is Daniel Volkmann, a multi-media artist based in Ripon. An opening reception will be held at 7 p.m. Dec. 9, and refreshments will be served.

Volkmann holds a bachelor’s degree in studio art from Macalester College. “Figure drawing is to figurative art what batting practice is to baseball; it’s fun, fast, physical, challenging, direct practice, strengthening offensive skills of the game,” Volkmann says.

“The drawings are joyful studies of the (beauty and expression found in the) human animal. I crave the speed and immediacy of sketching and drawing. Painting, printmaking, graphic design all require many layers, steps or equipment — often too many for me.

“I love being able to sit down, study a form, learn it by drawing it with a simple piece of charcoal or a crayon and have a finished product in an hour, give or take. Though my favorite drawings are often the quickest, simplest gestural drawings that might take a fraction of that. It’s like music from heaven when you get the lines right the first time, and even sweeter if it takes only a few lines to make your point — but that’s why you practice.”

The figure drawing selections in the exhibit represent the artist’s favorites from the last three years, and most of them were done during a figure drawing class offered at Ripon College.

The paintings are recent works on wood panels. “I try to find ways to push the medium,” he says. “I try to make exploratory, enigmatic, personal work; if an image or idea resonates with me, I figure it may resonate with others. Any ‘meaning’ is a mystery, sometimes even to myself.”


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