Ric Hartman, Director
April 5, 2021 to May 9, 2021
December 2020 through January 2021
Poplar Bluff, MO
Friday Oct 18, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday October 19, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Works on display thru November 10
The Art Upstairs Gallery
Marshall Building in the 3rd Ward of Milwaukee
207 East Buffalo, 6th Floor
Milwaukee, WI 53202
I paint images that suggest a presence in an environment or an
absence of one and evoke an emotional response. Art making is an
activity that documents my creative and critical thinking and
takes the form of visual poetry. The works are abstracted
portraits of objects found in nature, places experienced, spaces
navigated and those imagined. Layers of water-based pigment build
the color intensity; define the form and allow light as a subject
to give meaning. Each deep, rich hue is created through a series
of washes, one transparent layer over another building in
intensity until the maximum color saturation is reached.
I usually work in series, some of which are titled: “Redwoods and water loops”, “Empty spaces,” “Trees and light” and “Sky in a box”. The new series is inspired by my years in California and my travels and is titled “Building a Forest One Tree at a Time.”
The camera is with me most days and is used as another tool for observing nature, but I never work directly from a photograph when I paint. In addition, I draw from a model every week, and this allows me to practice, develop and maintain a keen sense of observation and to successfully build values in a composition. Photographing and drawing the world around me are critical parts of my art making process.
Even though watercolor is my primary medium, I was formally trained in fine art printmaking, and it took several years to learn to paint like a painter, not like a printmaker. In 2015 I had a large solo exhibition, which included drawings, prints and paintings from the last three decades. This awakened a desire to again allow the white of the paper to become a powerful positive shape in the paintings, reexamining the dialog between positive and negative shapes.