Tom Rierden

Paintings

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In 1980, I was 20 years old. I was traveling the Midwest in a rock band outfit. I was still living in my parent’s basement, when the band was in town. I had saved enough money to move out on my own, I always wanted to live in an area that was a small town and was surrounded by good fishing ponds.

20 miles outta Lincoln, Nebraska, I found that town. Sprague. The best option in Sprague was to drive a mile and a half, to the local gas and go. A place named "Centerville”. This would be your grandma and grandpa's 7 11. The building was an old batten and board with two gas pumps out front. Inside you could pick up your beer, smokes and, beef jerky. However, there was a giant sandwich board sign that indicated, '' BEER BAIT AND AMMO ''. On the west side of the building, somebody painted a huge Texaco gas logo. I do not know why I was so intrigued. But, it wasn't the typography or the bright colors, of the signs. It was the tension of the negative spaces. It was then I realized that space, was the key, coupled with color that created the interest of the signs.

Years later, in Seattle, my typography teacher, confirmed this and pushed me to experiment. Instead of type and numerals, I was to try incorporating the human figure into my compositions. Although, I’m still a sign junkie, I’ve found that sometimes, the juxtaposition of my compositional elements created interesting spaces in a two dimensional format.

When all is laid out in a certain and spontaneous process. You can evoke the viewer.

This is my goal to evoke an interesting composition, and painting.

Evoke emotion, and, create, interesting tension.

Give it a go.....