Brian Overley / Painter
I work on many pieces at once. It’s like a dialogue. You reach a point when you’re conversing with someone where you pause for a while and nobody says anything. And then another thought enters the conversation that may be very intense and interesting. Sometimes I reach a point where I don’t know what else to do with it, and I put it away. I know it’s not finished. Then two years later, I’ll pull it out. It’s not efficient, but I’ve accepted that’s just the way I work. I’ve literally worked on some of my paintings for years because I work on them until they’re resolved. A painting will tell you when it’s done.
Essentially, I’m a formalist. My interests lie in the elements of a painting. What are the most difficult things to incorporate? Those are the problems that I want to set up and solve. My work puts seemingly disparate components together and then guides them to resolution. In this sense, the paintings need to feel inevitable. I pursue different ways of applying paint, disjointed colors, and often deliberately disrupt the tendencies of making a “beautiful” piece. Yet if you were to remove any element, the entire visual would collapse. I make the work look effortless, it has to look easy, but nothing is random at all.
We’ve been in Three Oaks for nearly 25 years now. My husband and I moved here for the house we live in, a 19th century Italianate historic home. We stayed because we’re surrounded by beautiful countryside and by people who are getting more interesting every year. And I love the energy of our downtown. What tiny little town has a theater that shows international and independent films? I grew up in a small town, and from what I know of them, Three Oaks is not like anyplace else.