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A s for artists, you must know we always have favorites. And I have to admit that among mine are: J.M.W Turner and his misty fog enshrouded landscapes or seascapes; Monet’s abstract water lilies, so executed because his eyesight was failing; Redon and his mysterious and abstract personal approach to painting; and Pollock’s action based kinetically executed works that are at once nothing and yet something wonderful… of which you are not quite sure what. They didn’t spell it out… allowing us to become engaged in a final and personal interpretation of the work. At any rate, their approaches and styles have intrigued me for years.
The images themselves in Atmospheric Abstractions: Beyond the Visible are a response to seasons, nature and places that seem to me to have a significance or sense of place. Except for smaller works in this series, I rarely paint on location, preferring to sketch or photograph, returning to the studio to complete the larger and more cumbersome, works. These elusive and intuitive abstractions are dreamlike images of the natural world, in which form and color merge into one another through an abstract atmospheric approach. Purposefully ambiguous, they allow the viewer to project their own thoughts or memories onto the work in order to complete the visual exchange. What strikes one as peaceful in a work may instill anxiety in others. Abstract pattern caused by light, reflections or movement, and of course the use of color, mood or tone, texture, shape and form help to create an illusion that we intuitively respond to.
Atmospheric painting is generally agreed upon and defined as “a method used in the creation of recession or illusion of depth by means of color modulation… helps create an illusion of depth… The important or nearest objects in the painting as per the formula, should be painted in the real/true colors. Farther objects should be given a lighter shade… The incorporation of atmospheric perspective in paintings helps in giving them a realistic look.” At one time I thought of this body of work as atmospheric painting. But if we consider the historic definition and uses, these are not truly atmospheric paintings. They are something more; something mysterious that takes us beyond the visible. Upon reflection, I now consider them to be atmospheric abstractions that seem to embody a somewhat mysterious vision… by which both artist and viewer can see beyond nature, beyond perceived reality, beyond the mere visible. They are ethereal compilations of time, space and place, which evoke memories; allowing each of us to glimpse into a remembered reality and insisting on a personal interpretation as we project our own ambiguous yet familiar thoughts into the work. ■
CLOUD WATCHING I: encaustic on panel, 16″x 20″
RISING MOON: acrylic and watercolor, 22″x 17.5″