The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Currents

December 20, 2012

Picking up pencils: St. Peter artist elevates the art of colored pencils

(Continued)

Over time, Osborne developed the ability to calculate facial features and body positions from sight, rather than measurement. He learned how to plan the composition of his pieces in reverse from traditional painting methods (with colored pencil, the background is applied last). He learned how to blend colors and how to apply repeated shades of color to achieve a dappled effect.

But Osborne’s portraits — which very often focus on sports and celebrity subjects — move well beyond technical skill.

“In Walk to the Edge of the Ocean,” Osborne makes the rare choice to feature a subject from the rear. In it, a woman in blue jeans swings her arms lazily as she balances on a railroad rail; she is topless and the viewer’s focus is narrowed into the carefree swing of her shoulders. One doesn’t need to see the subject’s face to know her eyes are closed, turned toward the sun and envisioning a road that leads out of nowhere.

In other pieces, Osborne captures the proud bearing and stubborn convictions of a smoking coal miner. In another, the joyful exhaustion of a ballerina.

Many of his pieces are enhanced by handmade frames that deepen the content of the artwork.

“I try to capture the emotion of my subject and magnify it,” Osborne said.

Though Osborne has exhibited works in the past in various galleries, including the Prairie Lakes Regional Juried Art Show, this represents his first solo exhibit.

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