Beyond Literal Representation: Capturing the Essence of the Natural World

Paige Simianer | April 13, 2023

Meet the artist heavily influenced by the natural world.

Hailing from Louisiana, Dirk Guidry is particularly drawn to organic shapes and forms which he employs to capture the essence of nature in a way that is both abstract and intuitive.

Rather than creating a literal representation of his subject matter, Guidry's paintings are intended to convey a sense of connection to the natural world.

He employs the physicality of paint to create textures and forms that evoke the feeling of being in nature.

Guidry's work often explores the relationship between isolation in nature and the isolation individuals can experience within themselves. Through his art, he seeks to convey the healing power of nature and the importance of finding moments of solitude and reflection amidst the busyness of our lives.

We got the chance to chat with Dirk Guidry about his creative process and how Artwork Archive has been an integral part of his art career for the past eight years. 

You can see more of his work on Discovery and learn more about his art practice below. 

Dirk Guidry, 'Flux #3', 16 x 20 x 1.5 in

Has your work changed over time—do you find yourself understanding your art career through different periods of expression? 

My work continues to evolve through the years, but the expression component has been consistent throughout.

As my art practice grows, I have more intention with the series that I create and where I want to expand and exhibit the work.


Can you walk us through your artistic process, from initial inspiration to finished painting?

Each series starts with selecting a color palette, usually reflecting my mood or what’s happening in my personal life.

From there, I’ll make a number of mockups with various colors of the series on small pieces of canvas. This allows me to be selective on what background colors to move forward with, based on the figure/ground interaction.

If I’m drawn to the composition of a mockup, I’ll replicate that on the larger scale paintings.

There is always a back and forth in my process until I arrive at the place where I feel that the piece is complete.



How do you decide on the color palette for your paintings, and what do these choices represent? 

I’ve become much more intentional with my color palette selections.

These selections are definitely influenced by my personal life and state of mind. I find myself in a beautiful, happy place with my lovely family, and so the work has been very vibrant and colorful as of late. 

Dirk Guidry, Adaptation #2, 72 x 48 x 3 in

Can you elaborate more about the correlation between isolation in nature and isolation within oneself and how that influences your work? 

I’ve always loved to be by myself within nature.

Whether the setting is something beautiful or full of turmoil (I’ve been through quite a few hurricanes), the experience is always very emotional and individual.

Isolating this type of moment is what I try to portray in my movement and figures. Nonrepresentationally, I’m trying to capture something that reverberates on more of a subconscious level.


What does success as an artist mean to you? 

Success can come in many forms, and it's easy to lean toward financial success for sustainability purposes as an artist.

For me, being successful is creating work that people find beautiful and are moved by. 


Why did you decide to use Artwork Archive to inventory your art and manage your artwork?

I needed a program to organize my inventory around the same time as I was graduating with my BFA in 2012.

Luckily, I stumbled upon Artwork Archive and it has played an integral part in my studio practice and career. 

Dirk Guidry's studio. Photo courtesy of the artist

How do you use Artwork Archive on a daily basis?

As part of my daily routine, I’m checking to see what’s on the schedule in Artwork Archive and if I have any artwork showing somewhere or changing locations soon.

I’ll double-check if I need to upload any new works or process any sales.

I love to play around with the Private Rooms for clients or if I’m featuring a specific group of works.

We have some shows and fairs coming up, so being able to generate Inventory Reports and Artwork Labels so effortlessly makes that whole process so much easier.


What advice would you give an emerging artist during this time?

Accept that being an artist makes you an entrepreneur so you need to be willing to handle the 50/50 split between the creative side and the business side.

Having the proper tools and systems in place such as Artwork Archive saves time and energy, which will allow you more time to create more work!

Dirk Guidry, 'Circulate #24'48 x 60 x 2.5 in

Dirk Guidry uses Artwork Archive to track his artwork, manage his busy schedule, and generate professional reports for the many facets of his career.

You can make an online portfolio, catalog your artwork, and generate reports like inventory reports, tear sheets, and invoices in seconds with Artwork Archive. Take a look at Artwork Archive's free trial and start growing your art business. 

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