Fresh off displaying the surrealist digital art of Aurora-based Marsha Kerns Chez, the Canby Public Library’s latest exhibit is showcasing another creator whose work leans toward the whimsical and fantastic.
Oregon City artist Lucas Nickerson is displaying 16 pieces at the library through February 24, featuring a variety of subjects and mediums, but primarily oil, watercolor, ink and pencil.
“Primarily, I paint in oils, but have been using watercolor extensively on recent work,” Nickerson explains. “Oils provide me opportunities to meditate through concepts sluggishly, while watercolors grant me an efficient means to translate ideas. With either medium, I always hope the viewer finds enjoyment in my work.”
Nickerson specializes in realistic depictions of animals, often engaged in anthropomorphic or some other surreal activity. Sometimes, his work features puns or pop culture references, like his painting of an actual giant panda dining out in a Dumpster with a pair of raccoons (which are colloquially derided as “trash pandas”).
Another piece now on display at the library features a biologically accurate depiction of a coyote (albeit wearing a futuristic-looking jetpack) chasing a roadrunner — an obvious reference to the classic Looney Tunes rivals Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner.
“Through simple use of animals, people, symbolism, and puns, I create paintings that inspire unique interpretation of their meaning,” Nickerson said. “Sometimes, a painting is best taken at face value, while other pieces may obscure a double entendre. I have a lot of fun with my work, as is evident in some of the titles given.”
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