Gabriel Tempesta’s home and studio are perched high on the edge of a Vermont meadow, overlooking rolling forests and fields. This sublime location is reflected in his artist’s statement: “I am moved by the visual poetry in the trees and fields that surround me, and I look to capture and celebrate that with my artwork. I explore the landscape every day, seeking and always finding great inspiration.”
Tempesta’s environmental paintings are unusual. They’re often black and white, with only the very occasional use of toned-down color. They offer a provocative combination of highly detailed rendering with random kinetic chaos. Both of these attributes are aided by Tempesta’s stunning use of his favored medium: charcoal and water. He explains that he is always experimenting with the dual nature of this medium and is inspired by its often unpredictable direction.
Creator #1 is part of a 12-work series that investigates the life cycle of bumblebees and their unique contribution to the physical world. The paintings reflect a certain lightness of being that speaks to the ephemeral nature of the bumblebee itself. Tempesta’s hand as an artist reminds me of nineteenth century painter James Whistler’s assertion that an artist’s use of paint “should be like a breath on the surface of a pane of glass.”