Artist's Statement

Paintings

My approach to fabricating a painting is a very straight forward process that is conceptual and controlled. The paintings are preconceived. They are based on detailed small-scale studies which may employ drawing, painting and collage. The forms are subconsciously assimilated from the world of things and sometimes an earlier painting. They represent themselves, rather than being representational. The forms don’t symbolize or describe anything outside of the painting. It is all visual. These sources are intuitively assimilated with concern to develop a visual tension between the shapes and the colors. I set out to create a painting that has two contradictory qualities. First, the painting communicates its energy instantly. Second, it has elements that only become apparent after the viewer has looked at the painting for a while. I feel layers of vision in the same painting raise questions that leave meaning up in the air.

By closely adhering to the small-scale studies, upon which the painting is based to a large degree, the composition is predetermined before it goes on the canvas, but sometimes sections are not right on the canvas and must be changed. Because I want an unspoiled surface, areas that are to be changed must be scraped flat before making the changes so that ridges from the previous image are not visible under the new surface.

The use of the small-scale studies implies modularity and enables the production of nearly identical paintings in different scales. A single study might lead to more than one painting.

 

 

Stand-Alone Cutouts

The cutouts are made from a sheet of PVC plastic and given bases that allow them to stand and be seen from both sides – an intentional visual challenge between front and backsides. Some of the cut out images are simple, while others are complex. The images are created by both painting and lamination. 

© 2019 James Eli Bowden.