Scott Tallman Powers

Scott Tallman Powers: Life in the Market


Video Length: 6 Hours
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Scott has been recognized by the highest awards from many prestigious art groups, museums and competitions, and justly so. We were honored to be able to persuade him to film several video programs for us at this point in his career, as we believe he will be one of the best painters of this generation and will have much to share with his current and future audiences among both collectors and students of painting.

Already considered a master painter, it is hard to imagine how much his work will develop over the course of his career, but this marks a beginning record on film that we will be eager to compare his future work to, along with his working process and methods.

Scott is proficient in all subject matter, but he has recently been concentrating on composing complex figurative and landscape works that showcase native cultures in their fast-vanishing environments. He, along with a few other fellow artists, are traveling the world to record these peoples while they are still attached to the lands and cultures they embody. Every day finds their native costumes and habitats eroded and changed through the infringement of modern dress, transportation and media. The old ways are disappearing at an alarming rate.

Photographers play a significant role in capturing these cultural treasures, but they are limited in the manner that the cultural content can be portrayed. The painter has a substantially different role to play in recording these treasures for history. And, the video filming of the process that the painter uses offers yet another insight into that cultural phenomenon, which is the interpretation of the culture by the individual artist such as Scott Tallman Powers.

This video is really two programs in one. It can be viewed by an emerging painter as simply an instructive tool that shows how to arrange materials, mix paints and apply them in a pleasing manner on the canvas.....certainly, a worthy goal in its own. Scott's bravura techniques with brushes, palette knives, fingers and rags are skills to be strived for, and mesmerizing to watch. But, on a much deeper level, this program is about how the artist gathers and responds to the reference materials to create a world of the artist's own making within the culture he seeks to reveal to his viewer.

"Constructing a Market Scene" is about the entire process the painter employs. It shows you the preparation necessary to produce large narrative works that mark the difference between a short, on-location demo and a painting destined to hang in the permanent collection of a museum. The painting is based first on an abstract idea of composition of shapes and values, with the subjects of the market sellers and customers being the central characters. Secondly, the environment of the bustling market set up under swaying umbrellas and local trees establish the outdoor ambiance. But lastly, it takes the viewer on a journey through the market in a way that a gallery visitor will never experience. While the characters are all conjured out of the artist's head, one can easily imagine being there right behind his shoulder as he directs the movement of the figure's body, hands and gestures to suit his intent about the interchange between the people in the scene. It becomes a moving tableau.

Several, small, on-the-spot studies allowed Scott to capture the color harmonies unique to this market, and to record the gestures that will give conversation between the figures in the work. Additionally, he took hundreds of photographs of other figures in the market to have as additional references for background interest and authentic costuming. During the painting process, it is as interesting to see how Scott chooses his references as how he paints them onto the canvas. Also, the painting emerges through a series of ideas that is constantly changing. He will first decide to paint a cart in one area, and then change his mind and turn it into a woman with a bag of potatoes at her feet. This is why the video is a second program all its own.

The final painting goes through a metamorphosis from beginning to end that tells a story all by itself, one that starts out one way and ends up another. This is something you one can't experience by just viewing the final painting hanging in the gallery. The painting ends up being a movie in itself, with small plot shifts and emphasis changing along the way. But, this is the way a painting is created out of one's head......not simply a record of a single photograph of a simple place in time....and the reason this video is so different than some of the other we have filmed and produced.