Expressionism through color, depth, and the deconstruction of form
Sight. Seeing. How do we see? Is it simply through optic sensations that we view and judge the world around us? Our circumstances? Or is there some deeper, psychological process we are/are not aware of at play? To what extent of what we see is colored by our own personal psychology? The psychology of our environment? Our society?
What I ultimately love most about painting over all other mediums, is the flexibility allowed the artist. While the same may be said of other mediums, for me, this is especially true with painting. Recent technological developments in materials has decreased the medium's limitations. Now more than ever a wide variety of possibilities to express oneself exists.
Currently the images I’m working with come from a long tradition in European (especially Spanish) painting. By searching for new ways to approach and create these archaic images, I seek to find a new way of self-expression. I believe that most, if not all, great art is born of struggle between the things that limit us, that stand between what we want and what we can control. Each attempt at deconstructing the images, either through color combinations or the manipulation of lines and structure, is unique unto itself. Each approach is guided by my thoughts and emotions at the time. It is during the process of building the work that even more changes occur, so that the final effect is more an evolution than a specific solution.
I search for different levels within my art. I feel strongly that art should be used to open up and express areas of feelings rather than merely illustrating an object, person, or place. In divesting myself of the need to record the world around me realistically, new techniques have opened up to me providing my work with an identity all it’s own.
“Resist painting” is a technique I developed while trying to create a graphic look with paint and brush. It involves creating simplified images from negative space. It also calls for using the paint in a subtractive method, (hence, “resist” painting), scraping away areas, giving the visual impression of a giant wood cut. One is constantly striving to make the most of the pictorial space as economically as possible. This becomes even more difficult and unpredictable with the introduction of color.
Flatness of the image and the extreme simplification of tone values and line soon threaten the successful conclusion of a work with the introduction of color. These problems were solved by treating both the surface and paint with synthetic polymers, and industrial resins throughout the painting process. The opaque paint is then manipulated and used as a transparent paint, automatically reversing the ‘normal’ process. The illusion of physical space created offsets the flatness and tone problems. I wish I could say I also developed this technique completely, but I can’t. Local artist, Jason Allan had been experimenting with synthetic polymers and enhancing the illusion of depth in his own work. With the guidance of this talented artist, I was able to achieve the desired results, solving the visual problems I’d been struggling with while retaining my artistic identity. However, an element of unpredictability will always remains.
Frequently I find that when I’ve created a thing of initial beauty, I ultimately destroy it, and in the act of “saving” the piece I create something much more substantive. Every piece created that I feel is good, powerful, a breakthrough for myself happened that way. It’s never been easy for me....