First and foremost, this is one of Nicholas’ earliest work from the days he painted at his former day program. We display this piece because it signifies his humble beginnings. When you compare his oldest work with his newest paintings, there is a stark contrast between them not just in technique but also in color usage and self expression. To this day he continues to expand his knowledge of various paint techniques and how to get more out of his work on an emotional level in order to ease the occasional issue with anxiety.
One of Nicholas’ first art projects when he moved to his new home was an idea thought of by our mother after finding similar ideas online. The question arose while shopping for new furniture for his room, why buy a headboard from a cookie cutter store when he can create one using his own artistic abilities? What I find so amazing about using canvas panels is that they can be taken down and more painting can be done to them over time. There is really no end to how he can customize his headboard to match his changing preferences.
This piece was drawn by the artist Troy Cottrill. Troy Cottrill is a South Carolina artist specializing in pencil drawings of historical sites and other vintage objects (old airplanes, tractors, etc…). All drawings are produced “free-hand” and are created in intricate detail. Troy dedicates over one hundred hours in the production of each work to obtain the “photo-like” quality, which has distinguished his work within the art industry.
The artists signature, J. Tan, is on this drawing but we unsure of his full name. There was, however, an interesting story printed on the back which gives premise to this piece. Our mother found this drawing at Don Drumm art gallery in Akron, Ohio.
The Story of Apollo and Daphne
Apollo, the god of the sun and music, came upon Cupid playing with his bow and arrows. Apollo mocked Cupid, saying a boy’s hands such as his were unworth of tools of war made for men. The angry Cupid then drew two arrows from his quiver, one golden and sharp meant to incite love and another leaden and dull meant to invoke hatred. He shot Apollo through the heart with the gold arrow and the beautiful nymph Daphne with the lead one.
Apollo fell deeply in love with Daphne, who in turn hated him. Apollo pursued her relentlessly, and she fled his advances until it became apparent to her that she would be overcome. In terror, she cried out to her father, the river god Peneus, to help her escape. As she spoke, bark began to enclose her skin and her hair became leaves. She was transformed into a laurel tree.
Heartbroken, Apollo swore that since he could not have her as his wife, he would make her tree sacred and give it eternal life. He would make the leaves of the laurel tree into crowns for leaders and victors of contests.
Leonid Afremov is a Russian–Israeli modern impressionistic artist who works mainly with a palette knife and oils. He developed his own unique technique and style which is unmistakable and cannot be confused with other artists. Afremov is mainly known as being a self-representing artist who promotes and sells his work exclusively over the internet with very little exhibitions and involvement of dealers and galleries. He paints mainly landscape, city scenes, seascapes, flowers and portraits.
This was a gift to Nicholas from myself. I thought he would appreciate the bold use of color and Leonid’s technique of using a palette knife to create a memorable scene.
Nicholas has always enjoys watching me as I edit my nature shots in Photoshop. He will lounge around, intrigued, as I manipulate colors and change the dynamic of the photo to my liking. As a gift from all of us, we had these collages printed out as a way for him to always enjoy these images of nature from his own room.
This is Nicholas’ newest piece of art given to him by the wonderful director of marketing and communications at Akron Metro Transit for displaying his artwork in their main hub throughout the months of June and July. It was a fruitful experience not just for Nicholas but for those who passed through the hub and were able to enjoy artwork on the way to their destination. Originally this piece was made by Don Drumm who is well known for his intricate metal work.
It makes me wonder what Nicholas thinks about when he clasps his hands together and stares at any number of art pieces that are around the house. What is behind that thoughtful look on his face? What draws him to a certain display? All I know for sure is the effect it has on him to be surrounded by diversity, to create his own, and to see the end result of those who love his work. That is worth more than words can express.