Kevin Layton

Posted in Capstone Exhibitions

“I remember my earliest crayon-scribbled pictures on that heavy paper from grade school: huge white mountains in the background, low green hills, creek coming down blue with black stones, a gabled house in the center, smoke scrawling gray out the chimney, a few people with hats.”
- George Venn, Marking the Magic Circle

Drawing is the most primal language of people; it is vibrant, experimental, and reveals integrity in both the maker and the viewer. Parenting is human; it is cultivation, it is connecting broken lines to solid lines, it is intimacy and humility. Ones mistakes and elations are evident in both of these processes. The primal accretion of life and history is visually evident: a mark.

My influences span every generation of my family and the material that I use and collect is reflective of the experiences I have had or am having with my family. My own children provide a source of immediacy and vitality. Their scribbles, toys, and world of make believe are in a continuous circulation between my studio and home, a microcosm has been created in which the interrelationships between drawing and parenting; the record of life, solidify as I scratch my own existence in history.

My grandmothers, who I spent considerable time with in my own youth, have been instrumental in the ways of lifestyle and wear. Being in their presence and listening to their words, seeing what they have collected and admiring its time, has raised an underlying sense of nostalgia for the past. As I hunt for material I look for colors and texture that remind me of what I feel and see in their homes.

My current work simultaneously contrasts the joy and tension of fatherhood. As a husband, and father of two boys I have been forced to develop an intense sense of the exhaustion and purity of everyday life. Moreover, the work is the record of young parents being overwhelmed with the thoughts of finances, a lacking support system, sleep deprivation, and the arduous task of being present. These realities resonate in the bold lines, blurry backgrounds, and layered material in the drawings and paintings.

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