Quiet Corner Juried into the Southeast Chapter WVA Exhibition at the Anderson Art Center, August-October, 2016
(from realism to abstraction)
For years I searched for a direction that would be a sustainable way of expressing myself visually. Much art was made in a strong abstract, minimalist, hardedge, and minimum color range. I found the results pleasing and felt good about what I created, yet I yearned to be able to paint, and use color, in a freer way. My visual mentors were able to find a way there, why couldnít I? How did those artists get there?
Looking and reading over the years I was led to believe that the bridge was possible through knowledge of drawing and painting realistically. Kandinsky, Mondrian, Diebenkorn all discovered the bridge that could carry them from realism to abstraction and back again. I longed to find my own way. I ventured into working realistically and discovered much along the way. The bridge that I thought would lead me back to abstraction never seemed to appear, even when I forced it.
Surprise is what I felt when I began painting abstractly. A surprise not based on disbelief or that the work was not an honest expression, but surprise that I would allow it to flow. Where did it come from? It was a part of a quiet evolution that had been building through the years. Maybe painting, drawing, printing, thinking, looking, reading, analyzing, and changing inside over the years made the difference. Was that change inside important? Finding the freedom to go with the flow?
The work is a commingling of all of the above and a mixture of what Iíve viewed in the work of so many other artists. A distillation of Mondrianís balance of line, shape and color; Kandinskyís freedom of movement, line, shape and color; plus Diebenkornís use of paint as a luscious line, shape, texture and intermix of color.
This series (Bridging the Gap, BTG Series, for short) of paintings originated from a set of real site photos. The transformation of each image varies, but each image has reached its own place on the bridge from real site photo to completed painting. Since all paintings are abstractions, some realistic, some non-representation and others somewhere in between the BTG Series is my attempt to bridge the gap. Each image is my solution to the problem set by each canvas. Each painting has reached its final home. They have Bridged the Gap.