Larry Decker

PHASE 1: When I was in high school, I was sitting outside the building waiting for the late bus. Our school was landscaped with white, Long Island beach stones. I had a bottle of india ink and a crow-quill pen and I was bored so I decided to draw a tree on one of the stones. It was the first time I had created something that I really liked. It came easily. It was not an assignment from a class or a request. It was something that was inside of me waiting to come out. It became my tree of confidence. I began embracing the medium of pen & Ink.  My drawings would be published in several Nature Conservancy publications, Two Barnes & Noble Books (including a cover), Farmstead  Magazine, National Parks Magazine (including a wrap-a-round cover) and  the NY Times. I would also have a gallery showing on Long Island (LeNid Gallery).

 

PHASE 2: Many years of illustrations of controlled black and white pen & ink was starting to get to me. I had a strong desire to do color. It felt like it was locked inside of me and I was afraid to release it. I had grown so comfortable and confident with what I was doing, I didn’t want to face failure. But I knew art takes courage and its more about emotion than control. On a trip to Sedona, AZ, I saw what I wanted to paint. It was a meditation spot where I had focused on rocks, branches and pine cones. I painted it; looked at it and hated it. I told my partner that I just wanted to outline it in black. He said, if that’s what you feel, than do it. So I did and that’s when I saw my style. The painting pleased me enough to continue on and eventually my work was sold for 10 years at the Jacob-Fanning Gallery in  Wellfleet, Cape Cod.

 

PHASE 3: I began seeing my style  in my photography.  Bold bright colors and simple subjects. I was drawn to nature and farming for subjects; just as I was doing in my pen & inks and paintings. I found an outlet by being a contributing photographer for garden segments of the Chronogram Magazine in the Hudson Valley.

 

After visiting the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, I was walking across one of its many bridges and I took a photo of the rivets and metal plates. I was drawn to the lines and color and beginning to see the beauty of close-ups. I eventually saw that you could create abstracts by photographing reality up close. 

PHASE 4: As I stated before, art is about emotion. You create with passion. You paint what you feel like painting and you don’t ask questions. I had never drawn people before but there was something inside waiting to come out. I saw a coffee table book of male redheads and I just HAD to draw one. I did about 100 male drawings. Couldn’t stop. I felt a connection to each one I drew and I have no idea where they were coming from. I just went with it. I am now a big fan of color pencils.

 

PHASE 5: One night I was preparing to cook some beets. I had set some sliced ones on a piece of paper that was on the  counter and the impressions they left caught my attention. I placed them on a piece of water-color paper and when the images dried I began creating an abstract painting with added inks and water-colors. It became my new obsession.  

I see my progression as an artist in 5 phases 

Please; when viewing each page, scroll down. There is a lot to see and the art is in groupings (Acrylics, abstracts, drawings etc.) Thanks

Art Bio

1975 Article Northport (NY) Observer October 9

1975 Nature Conservancy Calendar (Illustrations)

1975 Artisan House Gallery

1976 Article The Manhattan Mercury Feb. 22

1977/78 Village Peddler Vermont Shop

1977 Old Town San Diego Crafts and Art Mart

1977 Business Card Illustration for Doug’s Caving Emporium (New Hyde Park)

1978 The Art Box Gallery

1978 Knotts Berry Farm Gift Shop

1978 Nature Conservancy Publications (Illustrations)

1978 Illustration Contest (Ralph the Elf) Winner

1979 Bel-Temp Publishing Poetry Project (12 Illustrations) December

1980 National Parks Magazine Wrap-a-round Cover May Issue (Illustrations) (A signed print of this illustration was issued as 1st prize for a national contest they ran)

1980 National Parks Magazine August Issue (Illustrations)

1980 National Parks Magazine June Issue (Illustrations)

1980 Farmstead Magazine Harvest Issue #33 (Illustrations)

1980 Farmstead Magazine Early Summer Issue #31 (Illustrations)

1980 LeNid Gallery (NY) Show (Mother/Son) 9/14-10/2

1980 Show Review Newsday (“…his work is fresh and very much alive...he is showing many drawings of trees that he treats as though they were human.”)

1980 MacMillan Countryside Guide Project August

1980 Article Northport (NY) Observer June 5

1981 Farmstead Magazine Harvest Issue #41 (Illustrations)

1981 Nature Conservancy Publications April/May/July/August (Illustrations)

1981 Nature Conservancy Publications Letterhead/Invitations

1983 Nature Conservancy Publications Four Full Field Guides

1983 Alternatives Corner Gift Shop West Hempstead NY

1983 New York Times (Illustration) July 3rd

1987 Mrs. Butterworth Calendar (October) Ceramic (National Campaign)

1991 National Window Display Contest (Scholastic Publications) 1st Place Winner

1991 Publication: Snail Trail Vol. 21 #4 Fall Issue

1992 Nature Conservancy Publication Cover Illustration

1992 National Window Display Contest (Dell Yearling Publications) 1st Place Winner

1992 Publication: Snail Trail Vol. 22 #4 Fall Issue

1992 Publication: Snail Trail Vol. 22 #1 Cover Winter Issue

1992 Publication: Snail Trail Vol. 22 #2 Spring Issue

1993 Publication: Snail Trail Vol. 23 #1 Winter Issue

1994 Solo Exhibit at Barnes & Noble Opening 2/1

1997 Solo Art Exhibit Mandala Center Albany NY

1997 Solo Art Exhibit Romaine Brooks Gallery Albany NY

1997 Jacob-Fanning Gallery Wellfleet MA for approximately 10 years

1998 Solo Art Exhibit Mandala Center Albany NY

1999 Publication (Barnes & Noble) “Between the Leaves” Cover & Interior Illustration

1999 Spiral Magazine Cover Illustration

1999 Solo Art Exhibit Mandala Center Albany NY October

2000 Spiral Magazine Cover Illustration

2000 Solo Art Exhibit Mandala Center Albany NY

2011 Chronogram Magazine May Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Photos

2012 Chronogram Magazine March April May June July Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Photos

2013 Chronogram Magazine March April May June July Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Photos

2014 Chronogram Magazine March April May June July Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Photos

2015 Chronogram Magazine July Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. (+ Illustration) Photos

2015 Landscape & Irrigation Magazine October Issue Photo

2015 Landscape & Irrigation Magazine Nov./Dec. Issue Photo

2016 Chronogram Magazine April June July Aug. Sept. Oct. Photos

2016 City Trees Nov./Dec. Issue Cover Photo

2016 Hudson Valley Magazine April Issue Photo

2017 Chronogram Magazine April June July August (and Illustration) September Photos

2017 City Trees Magazine May/June Issue Cover Photo

2017 Solo Art Exhibit Virginia Apuzzo Hall Gallery Kingston NY Type your paragraph here.

I was raised by an artist mother who taught me to appreciate art. She taught me to enjoy the art of others as well as the art inside of me. And she taught me how to draw a tree.

I would discover throughout my lifetime that my appreciation for art would evolve and mature. I would fall in love with every artistic form out there. (Music, Theater, Literature, Film, Dance and any way people found to express themselves). For me it was Photography, painting and drawing.

I find that the more I experience the art of others, the more I am moved to create.

I create art because I must. I can’t hold in the desire to express myself. I am as surprised as anyone at times when I see what I end up with. Sometime it feels like I’m witnessing the work being done in front of me. Other times it’s a struggle to have the finished piece match the expression I was going for.

I never paint for an audience. I am the only one I am trying to please. Sometimes I applaud while other times I think, “eh”. I try not to throw anything away because there have been times when I’ve revisited a piece and I can see that it was the mood I was in at the time.

Art is emotion. Art is personal. Art is universal. Art is Necessary.


 

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