I just know that I'm going to enjoy the new exhibition of mind expanding Don Overbeay paintings at Tauranga's Gallery 59 during February and early March.
Don Overbeay was born in Columbus, Ohio, USA in the heart of mid-west corn country.
At a young age his family relocated to the deep south, Atlanta, Georgia. He spent long hours playing on his own and later developed, through fraternal influence, an interest in science fiction and B movies.
He began university in the pre-medical program, but was required to take introductory drawing course as a condition of enrolment, having never taken an art course in high school.
Before long his passion grew and the majority of his time was dedicated to making art.
Upon graduating from Ohio State University, Don was accepted into the University of Alabama and studied with the painter A.C. Sella an advocate of abstract expressionism.
'The Rub' 610mm x 1220mm oil on canvas
After university Don travelled to Bangkok, Thailand to make and teach art.
After this the family moved to his wife's home country of New Zealand.
Not long following his arrival, Don became Head of the Creative Arts Department at Waiariki Institute of Technology.
Most recently Don has returned to the directness and simplicity of painting.
“My painting is fundamentally subversive; and discusses freedom and the discipline of painting,” says Don.
"After a seven year investigation of mixed media assemblage I have returned to the spontaneity of painting.”
Initially the work of Philip Guston has acted as my doorway back into painting.
"I have always been drawn to both the graphic nature and direct narrative of his work".
'The Seeming Miracle of Stasis' 1050mm x 1350 mm - oil on canvas
"This style provides the ample opportunity for social commentary.
"In an attempt produce less contrived imagery, I have recently begun to generate the initial painter impact in a blind manner.
"Literally, I paint in the dark from a set of pre-mixed colours, basing my marks and composition on internal forms generated from a trance-like state.
"This mimics the same process that prehistoric shamanistic artist utilised when creating cave or rock paintings. Imagery is ideally produced from the embedded structure of the mind and not from historic or contemporary image references.
"As a result, I am freed from artifice''.
Don's latest exhibition of works "Welcome to the New Dark Age" will be on display at Gallery59 next to Prestige Framing, 59 Ninth Avenue, Tauranga.
This is an exhibition not to be missed.
The opening is from 6pm til 8pm on February 8th - everyone is welcome. Bring your friends. The exhibition will run until March 8th 2013.
Pete Morris is an occasional painter and an art lover. He has a particular interest in helping promote the visual arts in Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty.