Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Voice

I made a conscience choice to leave Chicago 20 years ago in search of quality of life. Quality of life in Chicago was good but, I'm just a small town person. My journey took me to Washington State, specifically Anacortes, my home. What a beautiful place it is here in the Northwest. The people are open and friendly. The water, the mountains, and everything in between is drop-dead gorgeous. Why am I writing this? Well, sometimes I miss the vibrancy and bustle of the big city art scene not to mention the opportunities afforded to a growing art career.

The question might be: would I have established my own voice as an artist if I stayed in the big city? I probably would have but, definitely not the one I have today and for that, I'm thankful. I was on the path of being a technique-based painter and that wasn't where I wanted to be. As I've mentioned in the past, I feel that your technical skills are only the tools of expression. It's what you do with those skills that count. My mind was set on finding my own identity as an artist. When I was younger, I didn't know what that meant or what direction I was heading. All I knew was that I wanted to explore, discover, wander, and wonder.
My own voice came by accident. I was starving and contemplating putting a "career" in art on the back burner while I took a job-job. What happened then was pivotal to my work. Resigning myself to this change, I just started playing around with my art with no intended motive of selling. I experimented with shapes, color, and form. The results were my signature style of painting, impasto. What made it work was the research of Robert Gamblin and his development of G-gel, an alkyd gel for painting with thick paint. Generally speaking, oil paint will dry, dry, and dry some more until it eventually cracks even with the best "fat over lean" guidelines applied. This is especially true with impasto, a thick buttery application of oil paint.

Fall is here which means that I'm back in my studio as opposed to painting outside. This painting, "Shoreline", is a work of fragmented color that appears abstract as you stand close. As you step back, your eye will blend the color. The first two images are close-ups of this painting. The last photo is the completed work.

1 comment:

  1. HI Al,

    I completely agree with your sentiment here. I love the title btw. Like you were doing I am finding my voice, and slowly but surely some are starting to listen. I just need more of an audience, but that takes time. Thank you for sharing this and your art.



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