Saturday, April 4, 2009

Featured Artist: Hugh Banks

Various Gourds by Hugh Banks, copyright

"Gourdeo Lamp and Gourdtrola" by Hugh Banks, copyright

"The GitGourd" by Hugh Banks, copyright

"The Dulcigourd" by Hugh Banks, copyright

Gourdin’s Story

Spring. Soil. Dark. Rain. Sunshine. Sprout. Blue. Photosynthesis. Roots. Taller. Trellis. Bloom. Tiny . Bigger. Bigger. Tougher. Dry. Cloudy. Cooler. Mold. Cure. Hard. Rattle. Craftsman. Artist!

That’s my story. As one of many gourd seeds sittin in a Wal-Mart display, I never even dreamed of what I might become.. Perfectly happy where I was, I dreaded the thoughts of lying in the mud in a pouring rain. “Sprouting” sounded painful…..too much “unknown” in this growin’ thing !

But, thanks to the mighty hand of God….things went well. And after all the growing and drying (and some adjustments made by my ole buddy Hugh) I hope you’ll like what I turned out to be!

Gourdin A Long

About the artist:

I believe that the ability to create art and music is profound evidence for the existence, majesty and generosity of God. What a blessing for Him to bestow on humans a measure of His creativity!

As I have observed our terrestrial orb, I have determined that what we see in the natural world is definitive evidence of a Creator….just as art is evidence of an artist. I have never seen a blank canvas turn into a beautiful painting without the application of intelligence, energy, skill and design.

One of God’s myriad of gifts to mankind is the gourd. I find them so very intriguing…..never knowing what they might turn out to be! So very practical to our forefathers….and so predisposed to beauty and creativity in the art and music realm!

Long before Tupperware and glass,….mankind used gourds in the fundamentals of survival. They were also used in some of the earliest musical instruments.

Gourds and I started getting together about 8 years ago. I had been painting oil portraits and various other more "mainstream" works for a while……but also became interested in the "natural canvas" of the gourd.

It seemed that God had provided a natural "craft store" right there in the garden!

As a musician, I am drawn to their natural utility as the basis for stringed instruments. Here you can see two of the instruments. One is a dulcimer. (the "dulcigourd" …….a friend says it looks like a Viking aircraft carrier!) The other I call the "GitGourd"….It is a guitar made from two large gourds. (The fretboards were crafted by my wonderfully skilled friend Jim.)
You can also see other various creations made into whatever the gourd "suggested ".

Thank you so much for viewing my work! At present, several of my pieces are on display for sale at the …Legacy Gallery….2801 Mall Drive Florence AL

Hugh Banks

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