Ars Gratia Artis
My favorite artists are Vermeer and Van Gogh; the former representing beauty in precision, form and design, almost like modern graphics; the latter representing impressionism with emotional, sometimes impulsive, attacks upon the canvas.
My early training was in representational art. My belief is that in order to be good at experimentalism and free expression, you first have to be competent in the basics of representation, color and design. That said, I seem to have a foot in both worlds. Breaking free of representation is harder than I thought. But I often paint from dreams I’ve had, which definitely are not realistic. I am becoming freer in the use of the brush, color, and I am loosening up my expressive side.
My original training was in the Old Master’s technique of starting with darks and building up to lights, like Rembrandt. Several years ago, I learned the technique of under-painting with the opposite color on the color wheel. That technique causes the eye to vibrate between the predominant top color and the opposing base color that you allow to sneak through; thus creating a visual vitality which makes the painting seem alive.
Because my subject matter is so varied, I call my modus operandi “eclecticism.” My portfolio reflects my varied interests in subject matter, styles, and expression. It is kind of like music to me. I like Bach, Jazz, Country Rock, Gospel and Praise. Picking one type of music would limit the bounty of beauty that the gift of music has to offer us.