When Christine asked me to do a small talk at the opening of Put a Bird on It, I said sure! I most often give small talks just flying by the seat of my pants and since I haven’t really paid too much attention to my artist Statement of late I thought it would be a good opportunity to refresh my thinking about my work all around. So after 2 hours of typing I could see that I had a good start on my autobiography, so I used it as my crappy first draft and refined it so I could say something more measured and meaningful. Here’s what I came up with:
I love the demands and processes of oil paint, the pigments, the mediums, the materiality. The stuff. I love the stuff. I love the slow nature of the indirect process of multiple layers.
I paint the way I paint because I find the process of long seeing to be very meditative.
I can breathe, I can think, or not think. Staying with the images for as long as I do is like listening to a sustained pleasurable note. It is deeply satisfying even though it can take quite a long while to paint, I find it deeply therapeutic.
I like still life because its just that. Still. Quiet. I love the light.
So, theres a long and pleasing process for me, and maybe a moment of light, an opening to stillness, hopefully some delight, for the viewer. A little rest from the big loud demanding world.
The actual objects I use have been tools to explore ideas about taste, nostalgia, good or bad, whimsy, family, and mortality. Not to mention the beauty inherent in natural objects. There – I said the B word. The meanings and importance of objects and images for humans, the stories they tell about us, and the stories we tell about them. The fact that these objects often outlive us.
Right now, in my work, the objects are leading me back into the fundamentals of composition, abstraction and colour. Still realism – but you’ll just have to wait and see.
I haven’t really been a part of the resurgence of academic realism, I’ve been too busy following my own nose, because there wasn’t really any guidance for realistic painting when I started so, I adapted what little I read about the indirect process and have made my own way, for good or bad.
I am happy to see the renewed interest in realism only because I think that it would be such a shame to lose such precious skills and that the more aspects of artistic expression there are available to people the better for everyone. I find great inspiration, excitement and solace in the idea that art is endless and that there is room for everyone.
Oh, and you can find me here at CKG and online on the social medias as TheQuietEye. Thanks so much for listening.
My dear friend Jackie and I at the opening of Put a Bird on It @Christine Klassen Gallery