HIGH ART: Spray paint sensibility at The Rose

By on March 4, 2014
Mike Tierney’s studio at Igneous

Mike Tierney’s studio at Igneous

JACKSON, WYO – Mike Tierney came to Jackson 17 years ago with one mission in mind – make art for Igneous ski factory. It was the perfect place to merge his creative energy with his love for skiing. He started experimenting with painting on skis, initially using a brush and paint that was thick and chunky. Never one to avoid a challenge, his experiments led him to discover spray paint, and he never looked back.

As he researched his favorite graffiti artists, he noticed all the best artists use one kind of paint, Montana Colors, or MTN, a familiar acronym for many alpine obsessed and the obvious paint of choice for Tierney. These colors are liquid magic for Tierney and have fueled his progression.

Glow-in-the-dark Sleeping Indian by Mike Tierney

Glow-in-the-dark Sleeping Indian by Mike Tierney

Tierney once spent most of his time skiing the unskiable. He is renowned for bagging lines many would never dare consider. Armed with the colors, inspiration and intimate knowledge of these peaks, he is driven to make art that celebrates our connection to the mountain.

These days, or nights I should say, as Tierney is a classic creative night owl, he spends more time challenging himself in the studio. Honing his painting skills and working through the creative process is his priority. Once focusing on the narrow line down the mountain, Tierney’s new work reflects an expanded vision. One way this is evidenced is when you turn off the lights with a Tierney painting in your room, you often get an unexpected bonus: it glows in the dark. And not in a trippy, black light kind of way, but as if you are camping under the stars and the full moon is reflecting off the snow-covered peaks.

Night after night he cuts stencils, changes caps, and precisely sprays the magic onto canvas. Ever resourceful, he finds tools everywhere for enhancing his creative vision. The dumpster provides a sheet of metal riddled with holes; a milk crate bottom becomes a patterned portal into another artistic dimension. Each painting weaves together the vision with unique execution, to create a new, authentic representation of our surrounding vistas. He captures our unique atmosphere and alpenglow, and you can feel his reverence for our mountains in every painting he creates.

Reception for new paintings by Mike Tierney, 7 to 10 p.m., Friday at The Rose/Pink Garter Theatre.

Butterfly by Pilar Bass

Butterfly by Pilar Bass

Pilar’s encaustics at Elevated Grounds
Also happening this month is a show at Elevated Grounds of mixed media paintings by Pilar Bass. Her encaustics are a visual expression of her experiences in and with the natural world around us. She uses textures and marks to capture the atmosphere and essence of the landscape. The encaustic medium has allowed Bass to fuse her loves for black and white photography and watercolor, with the luscious textures and qualities of the wax.

About Lindsay McCandless

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