Acrylic, Mixed Media, Found Object Sculpture
Dances with the deep
Leighton Blackwell is one of the only Ozone artists that is a true Newport native. In addition, he comes from a background of building, love of the environment, and a present of spearfishing and natural observation that stokes his creative resources.
Roots in Gyotaku
Solving the artist's conundrum of 'starving artist', Leighton would catch the fish, print the fish in an ancient Japanese method called 'Gyotaku' and then he'd eat the fish. This piece was based off of an actual fish print pulled from a prize catch and then its hand painted facsimile becomes a new homage to the fish.
Fish found in the woods
Or more appropriately; fish in found woods. Leighton paints his fish onto and frames his pieces with found woods from the boat industry and other sources around Newport.
The Pacific Red Octopus in the first picture, the tuna and all the rest of Leighton's subjects are from live observation, here in Newport. Leighton even built barnacles out of sheet metal to finish this incredible metal reef scene on found object wood.
Leighton has done several live demonstrations of the Gyotaku (inking of an actual fish and pulling a print from that fish) in the Ozone. He always seems immersed in the flow of creativity; like when he's suspended in the current, actively involved in the reef around him, waiting for the next pair of eyes to pop out of the rocks and comingle.