‘Wait, you used what to paint that?’ I hear this fairly often when people first view my latest series of paintings ( a mix of abstract – landscape – nature style acrylic paint on canvas ).
I have always worked best with a challenge but not so much with limitations.
Let me explain:
- a limitation would be telling me what the painting should be about subject-wise, a challenge would be paint about sadness.
- a limitation would be paint so the rectangular canvas is tall, a challenge would be paint but not with a brush.
My journey in creating art is about losing my thinking mind in a moment of being present, of being in this now, of shifting the landscape of my perspective and allowing what is in that experience to move thru and onto the canvas. I use challenges to create that alchemical environment which allows my inner committee to quiet down and find their ways off to their rooms, allowing space for the silent muse to arise.
As you view my work, consider this:
- Is it right side up? Could you hang it sideways?
- Do you think I started this piece in the orientation you see it hung? Some of my pieces started as one thing but became something different, for example one started as a seascape but ended as a forest on fire.
- How does it make you feel? Then walk away and come back, does it make you feel the same way still? I have several pieces that speak very differently to people, some feel despair and others calm happiness – for the same piece.
So, back to the first question, I use a 3 inch yellow putty knife to paint currently. I use a brush only to sign my name and sometimes to finish the back edges of the gallery wrapped canvas. I challenged myself to work with this tool beginning in 2015 when I returned to my basement studio next to the clothes washer and dryer. The results have been surprising to me – large, powerful pieces that sometimes shock me with their variety. I listen to ‘zen’ ‘meditative’ type audio books while I work, often just allowing the tone of the narrator’s voice to weave with my silent muse and allow the work to emerge. Yes, it is therapeutic.
While I love painting, it is not always convenient for me to get down into my studio space, so I am also working on a series of drawings. I call them Doodle Drawings. Ink on paper, abstract, colorful, mesmerizing pieces that I started while ‘chill-axing’ with my family in the TV room. These drawings allow my art mind to express itself during those times that I can’t get to my studio, truly excellent when traveling during the holidays.
I have been art centric in my thinking since I was very young. In elementary school my mother signed me up for drawing and painting classes after school. I use my art mind in my career as a Mechanical Engineer in fields as diverse as gas turbine engine design to medical implants for bone repair to fruit transportation separators. But I find that even with that outlet, my art mind needs more time to play. And so I have created in many ways and with many mediums over the years: Oil, Acrylic, Watercolor, Ink, Yarn, Clay, Sheet metal, Charcoal, Stone, Wood, Canvas, Paper, …
This page is more about the ‘Yes, but what have you done?’ question.
I began art lessons sometime around the mid 1970’s. My mother signed me up after one of my art teachers at school complimented something I had done at a parent/teacher meeting.
Between then and 2015, I have taken countless classes in mediums from oils to watercolor, clay to sheet metal, charcoal to ink. I have experimented with multimedia pieces and applying paints to different surfaces. The breadth of this work is captured only on my own, my family’s and my friend’s walls. I displayed in a variety of small local showings throughout my school and work life.
In 2015, I returned to my cellar studio with a new project in mind. My current series of acrylic with putty knife painted canvas in a style of abstract / impression ish style landscapes / worldscapes. I continue to focus on this style of painting today.
In 2016, I added another artistic outlet. Doodle Drawings. Ink on paper – abstract, colorful, mesmerizing pieces that I can work on when I can’t get to my studio space to paint.
I have shown my current series of paintings and drawings in the following venues:
- Topsfield Library 2016, 1 month show in April
- Everett 2016 to present, 4 reproduction prints in a business
- Topsfield Fair 2017
- Topsfield Library 2017, 2 months November thru December
- Topsfield Library 2018, 1 month show in June
- Topsfield Fair 2018
- Centennial Gallery, 2018 1+ month in October