THIS SWALLOWED LIFE
While spending four years in wilderness solitude, once a week I made a town trip for supplies.
Traveling the winding dirt road on a sparkling late spring morning, an eagle swooped low before me, winging out front as though asking me to follow. I did. We were both headed toward the river. At the bridge, the eagle made a bend to the right. I kept going over the waters tumbling beneath me.
Joplin artist, Andrew W. Batcheller, honors birds of hope in his new Exhibition, This Swallowed Life, opening tomorrow night a six o’clock at artCentral, generously underwritten by Schmidt Associates PC.
Andrew paints large. He paints with the courage to confront. He paints with the power to help and heal.
Batcheller’s paintings can take your breath, invoke your tears and break your heart. With fierce and poignant beauty, they begin the mending. With hope they soothe your aching soul.
In This Swallowed Life, this accomplished painter celebrates stories of hope told with oils on canvas and tee shirt textiles, bedsheets and pillowcases, too—all stretched to the limits, to accommodate the vast scopes of the narratives brushed upon them.
Batcheller states, “My greatest inspiration is derived from stories—specifically tales of how people traverse the landscape of this life. Stories of sadness, tragedy and pain are the most powerful for me, for they enhance my gratitude and lead me to greater appreciation. I always try to find the silver linings in these stories. Around these revelations, I focus my work.”
In the focused and exceptionally fine collection of This Swallowed Life, with nuanced details and a provocatively rich palette, Batcheller again and again honors the inspiration he finds in the brief life of the diminutive swallow. The swallow, for this artist, is an iconic symbol and harbinger of hope in a world too often challenged with political agendas—agendas that thwart the spirit and cripple the freedom of our lives.
The swallow, though ever in motion, is graced with superb ability to maneuver past all obstacles without ever crashing into them. Batcheller, too, has this gift—the ability to look at harshness and follow threads of beauty around and through the difficulties to arrive on the other side alive with light and celebration.
In This Swallowed Life, Andrew Batcheller’s arresting paintings invite you to take hope and to travel with him far beyond the obstacles to elegant places of restful peace and pleasure—places this artist knows how to paint.