Exhibiting July 28 through August 23, 2015;
Opening Reception Saturday, August 1, 2015, 7 – 9 p.m.
In The Road Less Traveled enter the sanctuary of David Skibiak and Keith Naquin’s artistic endeavors and experience the quiet place in their hearts and minds from which the art is born. By listening, by looking and by following their own perceptions, each viewer will discover something fresh and new in even the most commonplace of subject matter in this exhibit.
The range of work in The Road Less Traveled is expansive: paintings in oils, watercolors and acrylics, pen and ink drawings, etchings, lithographs, monoprints, computer graphics, and photography as well. David and Keith revisit traditional landscape art with two different looks, demonstrating the well-honed skills of experienced artists with similar backgrounds. Their “en plein air” paintings of the same subject matter, created side-by-side, demonstrate their positive attitude to their art. “We both feel we must face new challenges in creativity or our pond will dry up.”
Keith Naquin and David Skibiak have been friends since childhood and as fate would have it our paths have always crossed with the stars in alignment. In the best of circumstances, we would have formed a partnership after high school that would have invented the PC or the internet in some garage; instead, we both use computers and other mediums to create art. For the past thirty years however, we had not seen each other. Then, at the Beyond the Blue and Gray show last March (2013) at ArtSpace Herndon, we were reunited, both exhibiting paintings. We immediately noticed that our artistic styles were very complimentary and felt that our unique qualities and similar subject matter would show our oeuvre suitably in an exhibition, side by side. We both thought that a show of landscapes, pastoral images, shadows, colors, nature’s beauty, and places in the heart, places in time and timeless places, would be a great starting point for the completed pieces we had created over the years and for the ones we will likely create in the future.
About David Skibiak
Over the past 25 years I have turned my artistic energies into learning printmaking at the Discover Graphics Atelier in the Torpedo Factory Art Center inspired by the masters, Rembrandt, Durer, Goya, Whistler and so many others. I’ve cultivated my drawing skills to work extensively with intaglio and lithography, studying those who came before me to enrich and to humble. This is why I have spent many hours at The National Gallery of Art in their Prints and Drawings Department over the years.
I have had opportunities to share my work. In 2011 I created twelve prints and drawings for the Town of Vienna Calendar distributed to the town’s residents. My etching of the “Battle of Ox Hill” became the print/gift given to the four honorary speakers at the sesquicentennial of the battle. WIRED magazine commended me in the March 2012 issue with ‘special kudos to David Skibiak for his epic 17 megabyte submission’ on a four color etching I created for the publication. I will, however, always be a student of printmaking even when I am teaching at the Discover Graphics Atelier, as there is always more to be learned and explored in these disciplines that are always magical and mysterious.
Professionally, I am a web designer and I have developed photographic skills via digital cameras and software. I mention this because I often incorporate photography into aspects of printmaking, since it is such an unforgiving medium, yet I rarely use it for painting because I like to paint on location. Although art runs contrary to the writing of code and computer languages, computers can often be a useful tool in creating art. If it reinforces my humanity and creativity and returns me to my core, I will use it.
Is there a reason why people create art? Although it may be impossible say what an artist’s contribution is, their reasons for creating art may come down to simply – finding a reason to create. As you work through unforeseen challenges in the creative process, your only way of gauging any progress is within yourself. Though the work may delight or offend, or stir any number of reactions in others, it first has to be fully realized by the artist to be considered art, and when it is offered to the public as an unencumbered piece of the artist’s life, it represents his or her soul. Fairly or unfairly, the art and the artist are judged by the public where it is consumed but not necessarily digested. A gallery of my fine art prints are located at this URL. http://www.dsgrafx.com/1bigetchings.htm
About Keith Naquin
After serving thirty-four years as an art, photography, and computer graphics teacher in the Fairfax County Public School system, I’ve long anticipated the opportunity for time to put my artistic abilities and thoughts to fruition. Through the decades of working as a teacher, coach, free-lance artist, apparel printer, and a father of six children I’ve tried to set an example by generating public work (murals) and being proactive in the overall school and community. Exhibiting work was always a “bucket list” item and would additionally demonstrate to students and family my continuing desire to create personal artwork.
One of the rewards of teaching involved witnessing students developing an overall positive art experience! Over the past 40 years I’ve always felt the need to produce art, photographs, and graphic works on a personal level (enjoyment) and occasionally for clients, which in return has aided in the development of a skill-set in a variety of mediums. Upon retiring from teaching, I wanted to concentrate more on personal art-works with goals of producing paintings, photographs, murals, and eventually the goal of illustrating children’s’ books. During this tenure I was encouraged by students, friends, and family to pursue this artistic passion on a full-time basis, so in 2011 I launched a web-site: http://www.naquinartngraphics.com and http://MuralsbyNaquin which displays a variety of portfolio works. Since retirement in 2011, I still continue teaching and coaching (gymnastics) part-time but very much enjoy the opportunities to photograph, paint/draw and using Photoshop for specifically surrealistic use. Additionally I have taken on a number of artistic projects at residential and commercial sites which include painting large exterior murals in downtown Herndon; one “Virginia Vistas”-(94’ x 12’) behind Napa/Horn Auto parts, the “Chesapeake Bay themed” facade of The Ice House cafe (15 x 65) and most currently, the landscape and pets at the Dominion Animal Hospital (95’ x 22’).
Although teaching and coaching was a wonderfully rewarding career the daily regiment revolved around a strict bell schedule and time for creating personal work was minimal. Upon retirement, I now look forward to allowing personal time that is conducive to developing ideas and generating my art and photography.
I have many assorted interests in both mediums and concepts, but I find myself gravitating primarily towards nature-based themes. My personal experiences of living a fast-paced and somewhat stressful life-style have drawn me to seeking places related to history, nostalgia, and environments that are timeless; such as landscapes scarcely disturbed. I often explore places seeking areas of escapism and pay particular attention to composition, detail, designs, textures, colors, lighting/contrast that nature offers. I will often use a variety of mediums to support each focus. I will use pen & ink, watercolor, acrylic, photography and computer graphics as mediums that attempt to emphasize peaceful settings or perhaps something eye-catching which may otherwise be taken for granted. Being particularly interested in history I seek environments that have not changed in decades or perhaps things that some people have forgotten to appreciate, the little things; natural design elements, lighting, textures, and simple, quiet areas that may allow time for reflection. In a sense, it is my way of taking a second to stop and smell the roses.
The intent of sharing and replaying a similar “feel” conceptually of a place in time or of someone from hundreds of years ago is intriguing. One primary goal is to have the viewer place themselves within the work. My continued objectives are to reveal, either by art or photography the concept of escaping to enduring spaces conducive for personal thought and reflection.