The Idle Class Quarantine Creative series features local creators and their spread of good fortune and creativity in a time of quarantine. What exactly are these artists doing to lift the spirits of our community while practicing social distancing? We’re here to find out. Next in the series: local artist Brandon Bullette.
Brandon Bullette, an established artist of the Northwest Arkansas area, has curated murals, commissions and exhibits since 2016. Prior to moving to Fayetteville in 2011, Bullette graduated from Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in art and design.
A few of his notable works include live painting showcases for Roots Festival and Bikes Blues & BBQ, as well as art events at the Walmart AMP and various locations. He said he is always looking to exhibit his work and in the meantime spends time with his family and a significant amount of time cleaning his house. “I never knew I would spend this much of my adult life doing laundry and dishes . . . I also run and mess around with nunchucks. Both are done slowly,” he said.
As artists find ways to be creative during a time of social distancing, here is what Bullette told The Idle Class he is doing to spread light and art in a time of seeming darkness.
What have you been doing creatively during the self distancing period?
I have been using this time to catch up on lingering commissions, being playful with techniques and exploring online revenue options.
It’s always refreshing to finish commissions with loose ends and relaxed deadlines. Then I paint on a series of panels that allow me to further explore nuances in technique concerning figures and textures and light. Also my wife, singer-songwriter Candy Lee and I have been collaborating on events that we can do online to produce content from which viewers can learn and be entertained.
Why are you doing it?
Commissions have to be completed, but some have tight deadlines and others are open-ended. The open-ended commissions can sit on the back burner too long if one is bombarded with the blessing of business.
The panels I am painting are 4″x4″. I am practicing with oil paints in an educational, yet fun way. I use these panels to set my own art curriculum. Painting goofy sci-fi and fantasy beings in different lights and settings creates a mental playground of visually recorded technique application.
Online revenue options are popular avenues for artists and makers of every discipline. We are a content-hungry society who also enjoys vicarious living and educational observation. Candy and I will be teaching 1-hour sessions online via Facebook Live and then later-posted videos. These will be donated to what you want, no obligation to pay. I will be demonstrating sketching and drawing techniques with modest supplies. The reasoning is to make art accessible to anyone who has the inclination to learn and the most basic office supplies at hand. I will be presenting on Wednesdays and Fridays at 3 p.m.
Why is staying active in your art and finding new ways to express it important at a time like this?
It is important to always practice your artistic discipline. Use it or lose it. I mean not completely, but one can feel the difference of being in practice versus out of practice. The synapses that fire together wire together. It is important to express oneself, especially in times like this. Simply expressing yourself helps to process thoughts and emotions that may be caught in the mind for one reason or another. It can be cathartic.
Another reason is for historical record. Much of history is fleshed out examining the art of societies in different eras and under unusual circumstances. Plus, as we share what we create, others can see and relate to our experiences. We can create an emotional, intellectual and spiritual web of solidarity for one another just by sharing a visual or audio piece exhibiting our hopes, fears, anxieties, appreciations, etc. This network of personal expression will help combat the numbing effect of the news and cultivate the sensitivity, humor, love and forgiveness and wisdom of humanity in our physically isolated society.