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Screen Time: Foldable, Functional Art is a Beautiful Solution for Open Spaces

Screen Time

This article is a reprint of: https://nashvilleinteriors.com/screen-time/

Blog photos by Geinger Hill, Forest Home Media

All credit is given to Nashville Interiors & Hollie Deese, original story from 1/9/2019

When you think of folding screens, you might envision a plain, three- or four-panel divider stuck in a corner to offer some modicum of privacy for changing clothes. And while those surely exist, folding screens have a rich history of being so much more than a place to toss robes and stockings.

Folding screens originated in China around the fourth century B.C., maybe earlier, and often depicted idyllic scenes beautifully wrought by craftspeople and artists. EClan Designs master artist and designer Will Rhodarmer is honoring that history with the one-of-a-kind folding screens he creates for his company – beautiful, functional and created by hand.

 

 

He works with all types of craftspeople and fabricators for wood, fabric, metal and even some synthetic materials that he’s experimenting with to create the best possible effect for the client. He will even commission other artists who have expertise in a particular technique needed for a piece.

“Everything I do is either hand-painted or something is handmade and applied,” he says, including panels created using an old mural technique of painting on massive sheets of canvas that are then applied like wallpaper.

Rhodarmer, a Middle Tennessee native and MTSU graduate, developed EClan after seeing the growing need for room separators from his faux-finishing, cabinet refinishing and mural business, Art Effects. With the growth of the high-rise apartments and small-space living, he saw how he could translate his art into a high-quality heirloom product that also met a need.

“As a painter, the idea of a freestanding painting is really exciting, but that’s purely aesthetic, and that’s purely from a painter’s standpoint,” he says. “From a design standpoint, screens have endless functionality.”

 

 

His creations include pet screens, fireplace covers, couch screens, folding screens, sofa screens and wall art. Some are self-standing floor screens, some are suspended from the ceiling and some are mounted on sliding hardware to act as doors. All help solve a homeowner’s specific struggle in dividing space, so the end use is key to planning the design of the piece.

“The whole essence of the folding screen is to have a functional, decorative piece, and the functionalities range from just merely decorative to architectural elements such as concealment, false walls and division of space,” Rhodarmer says, “All of the same concerns that the Chinese had, we now have with the modern version of the open floor plan and small living spaces.”

By |January 22nd, 2019|Categories: Press Features|0 Comments

Nashville Arts Magazine Artist Profile – Will Rhodarmer

Red Sleeves in the Zone

This article is a reprint of: https://nashvillearts.com/2012/11/red-sleeves-in-the-zone-will-rhodarmer/

All credit is given to Nashville Arts & Marshall L. Fallwell, Jr. original post from 11/2012

Ode

Ode

by Marshall L. Fallwell, Jr.

Will Rhodarmer and I sit in half darkness drinking coffee with a strong undertaste of molasses. We are in a funky, sixties-looking, private coffee bar by the railroad tracks on Chestnut Street, an area fast becoming another Left Bank for artists and musicians, famous and not-yet-famous. Eventually, they find their way here for the coffee or the music or company or just to be left alone—no autographs, please. Will and I meet there because his paintings are on the walls and he helped design the place.

Rhodarmer is Dutch for red sleeves, i.e. butcher, he says—in Will’s case red paint on his sleeves rather than blood of beasts. “Red Sleeves” isn’t a nickname, only an interesting translation and, as it seems, an astute comment on his work ethic.

We speak of art, Will mentioning his version of the sublime state of creativity he calls the Zone. Now, every artist has at least heard of the Zone. But I ask about his anyway—the eternal question—because, as I study his paintings on the walls with one eye and him with the other, I want to know how he makes his art and where his head or his heart is, whatever he paints with. Tennis players, he says, say the Zone is where you don’t even have to think about hitting the ball—you just smack it and it goes there.

Will is an Air Force brat who somehow managed to grow up mostly in the Nashville area. At his mother’s urgings, he started painting when he was still a youngster. One suspects he knew the Zone even back then, maybe by another name.

Pancho

Pancho

He helped put himself through MTSU, major in art and design, by selling his drawings of historic Murfreesboro door to door in the very neighborhoods the drawings depicted. Life happened. Will flourished as an art director, designer, and entrepreneur. He now has a wife, a stepson, and his own home in Nashville.

He paints steadily, at this point in life slip-sliding nimbly in and out of that holy of holies, the Zone. But unlike Sunday artists, Will doesn’t wait for the Zone to enrapture him. In fact, work has becomethe Zone, and work is not an ethereal, fugue state you wait around for so you can find an excuse to load your brush.

Fireworks

Fireworks

“No magic to it, really,” he says. “I paint every day. I’m not a starving artist. I sell a lot of paintings. I even rent them. That one over there [he points to Nashville Cityscape No. 3] is in the new pilot TV show about Nashville.

“It’s all in the editing anyway,” he says. “Anybody can paint, but it’s what you do to the painting as it happens and after it’s already there that makes it come alive.”

We move closer to Nashville Cityscape No. 3, Will leaning into the painting to show me how he works his surfaces. From a distance, the buildings look distorted, crowded, as if they were dancing. Nashville’s “Bat Building” bulges out from the rest as if through a very wide-angle lens. Perspectives are convoluted, lines not straight nor angles square, and there is a sense of agitation. Up close, however, the surface of the paint is scratched and even mutilated by hard edges, brush handles, pencils, whatever tools or weapons are at hand. The surface is carved, distressed, pulled and pushed around, mashed and molded as if it were clay or some pliable material, the resulting surfaces a moonscape of optical tricks.

Gesture in Blue

Gesture in Blue

Tunable Structure

Tunable Structure

“No magic to it, really,” he says. “I paint every day. I’m not a starving artist. I sell a lot of paintings. I even rent them. That one over there [he points to Nashville Cityscape No. 3] is in the new pilot TV show about Nashville.

“It’s all in the editing anyway,” he says. “Anybody can paint, but it’s what you do to the painting as it happens and after it’s already there that makes it come alive.”

We move closer to Nashville Cityscape No. 3, Will leaning into the painting to show me how he works his surfaces. From a distance, the buildings look distorted, crowded, as if they were dancing. Nashville’s “Bat Building” bulges out from the rest as if through a very wide-angle lens. Perspectives are convoluted, lines not straight nor angles square, and there is a sense of agitation. Up close, however, the surface of the paint is scratched and even mutilated by hard edges, brush handles, pencils, whatever tools or weapons are at hand. The surface is carved, distressed, pulled and pushed around, mashed and molded as if it were clay or some pliable material, the resulting surfaces a moonscape of optical tricks.

Nashville Cityscape

“Art isn’t about anything but itself,” Will reminds me. “Any narrative gleaned from a painting is the viewer’s work. And they should work. I do. All I ask is that they pay as much attention to my paintings as they do to a song on the radio.

“Remember,” he says, “the scratch is the next drip.

 

 

Will Rhodarmer

By |November 1st, 2012|Categories: Press Features|0 Comments