Creative Mind Podcast Episode 49 – Rodney Thompson Keeps Fine with Fine Art

On this episode of Creative Mind, we talk with Rodney Thompson as he walks us through his journey, and therapy at the easel during this time of pandemic.

Surrealist art is polarizing, it is meant to be. Our “new normal” in the times of COVID for many is surreal. Working from home, the worry of infection, and one’s mental health are all common topics that have us thinking things we never had thought of before. A lot of wondering when, why, and how? For artist Rodney Thompson, the struggles he has faced, in the past and present, can only be abated through his work.

”My current series is an exploration of the challenges people can experience with mental health and how the world continues to operate around individuals despite their struggle,” Rodney says.

“Like many, I have experienced my own relationship with depression and anxiety throughout my lifetime. Yet, we often fail to recognize it culturally. The figures I paint have their heads wreathed in fire and are placed in scenes where their obvious condition goes unnoticed. I began this series depicting my own personal battles with severe depression, though it resonates with others’ experiences as well.”

Medium of Choice

“I use either oil paint or charcoal when creating my pieces. With oil, I’m able to create a thick and heavy impasto texture to insinuate the movement of flame. The heavy texture also shows the weight of the flame that is consuming the individual, while simultaneously creating an aesthetically pleasing surface. My work is based in realism but leans toward surrealism by exposing our unconsciousness.”

A Path of Destruction depicts an individual walking through a high desert with his head engulfed in flame. He is disoriented and unaware of the pillar of smoke behind him and the fire covering his head. Even though he is on fire he is continuing down his path. My intent is to show the many experiences we have with the debilitating effects of depression, as well as our potential resiliency to withstand being in the fire. My hope is to create advocacy for mental health awareness through my work.”


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