Local man paints series with razor blades
by Rachel Miller
July 05, 2013 01:01 AM | 2197 views | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Marietta artist Standford Ashcraft prepares to hang the final pieces of his new series entitled ‘Idyll Game’ inside the 2 Rules Fine Art Gallery in downtown Marietta. Ashcraft uses oils and acrylic paints applied with differently shaped razor blades to add a unique, storybook quality to his paintings. The exhibit opens with a reception today from 5 to 9 p.m. and will run through Aug. 24 at the gallery at 85 Church St.
Marietta artist Standford Ashcraft prepares to hang the final pieces of his new series entitled ‘Idyll Game’ inside the 2 Rules Fine Art Gallery in downtown Marietta. Ashcraft uses oils and acrylic paints applied with differently shaped razor blades to add a unique, storybook quality to his paintings. The exhibit opens with a reception today from 5 to 9 p.m. and will run through Aug. 24 at the gallery at 85 Church St.
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MARIETTA — A new art exhibit opening in time for tonight’s Art Walk will link the game of chess with the emotions associated with power and defeat.

“Idyll Game” is Stanford Ashcraft’s latest collection and will be presented at tonight’s opening from 5 to 9 p.m. at 2 Rules Fine Art gallery at 85 Church St. off the Square.

All of the works are painted using only razor blades.

Each work takes 20 to 40 hours to complete, depending on the size and detail, Ashcraft said.

Gallery founder Lois Rule said at least 21 paintings will be displayed, ranging in price from $300 to $1,000.

Cutting edge

Ashcraft said his desire to start creating abstract pieces 10 years ago caused him to hunt for a tool that could be used to apply various textures.

Ashcraft said he had razors from his work at a print shop.

The straight edges, of various sizes and types, are used to add layer upon layer of oils and acrylic to the canvas.

Ashcraft said the process allows for a truer color than brushes, which mix paint hues together.

Ashcraft said he has never cut himself or the canvas, and that his technique has evolved.

“It is getting faster and freer,” he said.

A dream

Along the walls of the 2 Rules Fine Art gallery, each canvas is covered with deep blues, vibrant purples, dark greens and hints of pink.

The serene nature of each image lulls the viewer into a calm dream-like state.

Ashcraft’s works include many architectural components, like medieval archways and stonewalls, and almost every scene has an outside setting with small pops of color, such as flowers and butterflies. Every painting frames a person or two that are the characters of that particular story.

Rule said it is like the viewer is drawn into the complex world Ashcraft creates.

Rule said her gallery had a previous show by Ashcraft in October 2011 and that patrons commented on the use of color and the magical quality of his work.

Local gallery

Promotions by the gallery said Ashcraft’s latest show is a mix of surrealist influences and classic storybooks.

Rule said she founded 2 Rules Fine Art in 2011 with the goal of offering “art you need to know about.”

Rule said this means shows presented at the gallery should be innovative in technique, presentation or design.

“We especially like to include artists that create fine art through commercial processes such as printmaking, screen printing, photography, graphic design, metalwork, ceramics, glass blowing and wood turning,” Rule said.

Ashcraft, who has lived in Marietta for the past 14 years, said Georgia offers a rich culture, and displaying his art near the Square draws a unique mix of suburban and downtown crowds.

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