A total, radical change to abstract with Cold Wax and Oil

This past fall I returned to abstract and I’m really feeling it now. I have always LOVED and hated abstract art… I don’t mean mixed media or abstraction/impressionist, yes I love that too, but full abstract where it’s just colors and layers and marks and process. I have never been able to do this kind of work because I feel like a fraud doing it. In my head I heard; “My kid could do that!” Additionally, in the past I felt like I was… making a painting of an abstract painting. (I know that can be hard to understand.) Plus sometimes it feels more like a craft, not an “art.” There is nothing wrong with being a craftsman, in fact a lot of what I’m doing is process / craft driven… Ugh, I’m starting to ramble already.

The change started with my sister, she and I have always been realist artist at heart. She recently started taking some art classes at her local college and had to do an abstract. So, I did one too. UGH! Mine was awful. I went back to working on portraits.

a week later, I was at my local Artist & Craftsman supplies store and they gave me a free sampler container of Gamblin Cold Wax Medium. It was so confusing to work with at first. But then I revisited my abstract work, now with thick wax and oil. I just gave in to using knives and other random tools. The process of just playing reminded me why I fell in love with art.

So, I reexamined my past body of work.

The reality is, no one wants a portrait unless it’s one of a loved one or icon. Being a portrait artist and painting my family was fine, but it lacked the ability to connect with people outside my family. I admit, I feel like I should be making big statements about my world, politics, environment.. and I am thinking about these issues when I work, but so far the paintings have been an escape from that stuff.

The Radical Change

I feel my best when I’m mixing up oils and wax, cutting into it with pencils and knives, putting on layers and scraping it off. Discovering, destroying and re-building as I go. There are subtle symbols in my work that mean something to me and some colors represent some personal issues to me. But I like to keep it obscured a bit so the person viewing the piece can project and find their own way through the painting.

This year, I’m doing what makes me feel best.

Bonus change

In the past, I must admit, I’ve been slow to respond to inquiries about purchasing my work. That will change! I’ll be posting works on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other channels.  I’m going to simplify this website a bit and focus I getting the new work into the hands and onto the walls of everyone that is interested. My space is too small to store all this work, especially as I start creating larger works.

Thank you all for your support and look for an updated site with updated works in the new year.