Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Earl B. Lewis {Broken Flowers . Blues . Books}

We recently caught up with Earl B. Lewis to ask him a few questions during his hectic schedule. He kindly obliged via telephone while still painting in his studio. Earl has many projects demanding his complete concentration. 

The most recent watercolor to arrive at the Wells Gallery features three girls playing Ring Around the Rosy. This striking painting is from a 6 book series titled "A Magnificent Park in the City". It tells the story about a families migration from East to West, starting out in a shanty town in New York that would be later be the location of Central Park. Many poverty stricken families and children were forced to move March 3 1855, and this book series tells the story of one of those families.

"Broken Flowers"                                  

Earl has been working on a series focused on the Crosstown of Charleston and the gentrification happening there. This series will be featured in an anthropological book by The College of Charleston, and his paintings will feature portraits of children that have been affected by this event. "Broken Flowers" (featured above) will be the cover of this book which should be released in a couple of years. Portraits from his current Lotto Icon series will also be featured in this publication.

While focusing on an upcoming show with The Wells Gallery, he is also traveling to various countries to meet with authors of books he will be illustrating. He will be heading to Israel to meet with award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson to begin work on the book "Sparrow" about the western wall in Jerusalem. This trip will also  provide research for portraits to be featured in "Lotto Icons" {A Global Perspective}" opening Friday October 7th at The Wells Gallery. He is also currently working on the book "Under the Baobob Tree"  which features students from the local Jane Edward School in Edisto reenacting the story for Earl's illustrations. This project was also featured in the Post and Courier recently, check it out here.

While working is his studio on his various projects, Earl feels Blues, Jazz and even some Folk music helps him immerse himself in the paintings. "Music is my muse, it helps place me in the mood of the painting", says Lewis. Recently, "Strange Fruit" by Billie Holiday created an emotion so profound to Lewis, he created a painting for his upcoming show in October solely dedicated to that very song. If you would like to know what Earl is up to, you can now visit his Facebook page under Earl B. Lewis or follow him on Twitter and YouTube.