Artists

Larry Calkins

Time & Place: my personal history goes back 5 generations in one place. My ancestors crossed the plains and homesteaded in the Harlan Valley, in Oregon, where I grew up. People in the valley depended on each other and formed a tight knit community. They raised cattle, sheep, farmed and logged trees for a living.
Many stories circulated as spoken history - some mysterious, some tragic, some encouraging, and many remain perplexing. These stories come alive in my art. For the observer they likely remain obscure, but my symbolism transcends and makes the the heart of the narrative emotionally accessible. Collectors from many walks of life respond to my work. There is an underlying meaning that triggers an emotional response.
I developed my own symbols that mark my narratives: for example, the burning house represents change and disruption. Other houses stand for stability and connectedness, a place to be from or to belong. Small houses dot green mountains and each one holds a mystery unseen. Rabbits and birds that populate my imagery are interchangeably good and evil, male and female, strong or weak. Appearances can be deceptive.
I am known for my dress sculptures. They appear plain in their countenance but are elegant in their simplicity. They embody the same symbolism but are abstract nature which allows the viewer to supply his/her own interpretation.
My artwork is suffused with the world they opened up for me, condensed in a pictorial narrative, sometimes secretive, or humorous, or biting, sometimes dipping into the absurd and surreal undercurrent of a community steeped in personal tragedy - but also in the ever present hilarity of the unbroken human spirit.
It is dusk always in the hills of Harlan. Dusk is the color of waking dreams.
Everything happens at evening-tide. The flying rabbits come out. The bicycling crows appear. The houses catch fire and the moon glows a baleful yellow.
Dead salmon litter the banks of the Big Elk and all the neighbors lock their dogs away to save them.
Jet trails crisscross the sky. A little airplane flies over, pulling a banner that says “Remember the lake”.

Grandfather Ehlen Wood, Clay, Encaustic
8 by 6 by 6.5 inches
$400

Barker House Wood, Metal
6 by 12 by 7 inches
Sold

Strangled by My Ire
Encaustic on Panel
11 by 6 inches
$800

The Path to Our House
Water Color, Silverpoint on Wood
23 by 20 by 2 inches
$2,200

30 year Wait
Encaustic on Wood Blocks
2 by 11 by 11 inches
Sold

Wayward Gravity
Encaustic on Wood Blocks
13 by 10 by 2 inches
Sold

Sanctuary Station 2
Encaustic on Panel
6 by 6 inches
$650

Santuary Station 9
Encaustic on Panel
6 by 6 inches
Sold

Santuary Station 11
Encaustic on Panel
6 by 6 inches
Sold

Santuary Station 13
Encaustic on Panel
6 by 6 inches
Sold

Sanctuary Station 4
Encaustic on Panel
6 by 6 inches
$650

October Days
Encaustic on Wood Blocks
11 by 9 by 2 inches
Sold

Teething War
Mixed Media
56 by 20 inches
Sold

Bear
Encaustic on Panel
6 by 6 inches
$650

Snake
Encaustic on Panel
6 by 6 inches
$650