If you are an artist you know what I am talking about when I write trial and error. My example is painting with oils but not having paint thinner or oil to thin the paint. These are things that I have never paid attention to in my 30+ years of painting. I was never taught about oils until the other night when I visited Stephen LaPierre’s art gallery.
At the end of a dead end street in Rocky Neck there is a sign that points “upstairs”. I was immediately intrigued because there was a floor tom (from a drum set and I am a drummer) with a book on it holding the door open. I knew, after visiting several other galleries that day, that “this has to be the place.”
The walls were hung with colossal pieces of art. The art was in all different styles, colors, and textures. It could take a person months to fully examine the vast amount of paintings that were strategically and carefully placed.
Some were landscapes (LaPierre has lived globally as evidenced by his paintings), some were of boats, houses, but best of all circus clowns. The circus clown collection takes up the entire right wall. The clowns each represent different socio and political satires There are even hidden messages in some of the paintings such as the 7 deadly sins.
(Photo Credit: C. Marlo Feinberg)
As an artist in New England it is beyond difficult to market unconventional and counterculture art. Memorial Day through Labor day every tourist with funds wants a painting of a lighthouse, lobster, or sailboat. LaPierre manages to plow through the barriers though with unorthodox art, he always has. That is true success in my experience.
Hailing from Haverhill, Massachusetts, LaPierre is a self taught painter. He even bartered a semester of college with this art many years ago. Being a successful artist isn’t necessarily about monetary value. Sure, LaPierre makes money from his art but that’s not my point. It’s about bartering and surviving on your skill, and this may be how LaPierre survives. For example one could pay half a year’s rent with one commissioned painting. An artist can barter paintings for any materialistic item needed in this eccentric world.
So check out his studio, the door is open or go online and peek at his gallery. I recommend going in person to view the mammoth canvases of precisely placed oil paints. My personal favorite is a painting of a plate of fish sticks. These particular fish sticks have the pattern of a clown fish. Clown fish stocks! Gloucester which houses Rocky Neck is known for their fishing industry and Gordon’s Frozen Fish Seafood (including fish sticks).