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Paintings from the beginning
I bought a slide scanner recently so now I can convert my old
coloured slides to digital images.
a nostalgia trip for an artist to go back 40 plus years to the beginning of his
career in art creation.
In the early seventies I worked as an
Architect full time during the day whilst at nights I painted obsessively and
feverishly, sometimes well into the night.
Unfortunately, having had two jobs this way, I did not have any
time to exhibit or promote my artworks, enter art prizes or show my work to
gallery owners. Hence my sales were sporadic and mainly limited to friends
Here are a few examples of my work at
that time. The images are not perfect, my photography was relatively
casual and not to my current standard.
Still most of these works are strikingly
original, vital, and not
Black and white
from the archives, painting from the seventies NFS
Abstract landscape paintings
This short essay is not an academic treatise but my
subjective opinion. I believe landscape paintings are inspired by Nature, the
natural environment in its many manifestations.
Many different kind of
landscapes can provide the source for inspiration: wilderness areas, mountain
ranges, forests, deserts, open plains and fields, seashores and also waterways
and the ocean are my favourites.
Landscape paintings can either be traditional or
contemporary. Traditional landscape paintings are usually depictive,
photorealistic or stylised to some extent.
Contemporary landscapes are in some aspects different from
what the eye sees, they are modified by the individual creative process applied
by the artist. The visual image produced may be simplified, exaggerated,
reorganised or abstracted to some degree in comparison to the actual landscape.
The artist would modify the observed subject by introducing a subjective element
of his own. For example, the painter may only use the colours of the landscape
but reassemble them in a different free-form pattern.
As I see it, the inspiration drawn from the
landscape is always important as a starting point, and even when the creative
modifications are carried out to the extreme degree, it is still important that
at least the “feeling of being there” should be apparent. The memory, the
ghost, the jolting recollection of the place should be felt.
Every landscape has a dominant characteristic, a
certain mood and an ambience. The challenge for the artist is to capture
this essence. This can be achieved in many ways, I prefer the following
approaches, loosely based on historical art movements:
impressionist - by focusing on the colour mix, the fine details and the
expressionist - by boldly capturing the dominant forms and shapes and utilise
the life-force energy residing in the place by intuitive action-painting
- by reducing the landscape to its basic essential elements and omitting all
unnecessary and distracting details
making - by focusing on the rhythm, patterns and texture of a place, for
example, by focusing on the minutia of close up details
fantasy - creating imaginary landscapes which express the artist’s mindset as
opposed to the reality of the visible world
I am sure there are also many other ways to come up with
original solutions. Landscapes have a generative power and presence which
inspire the mind and soul of visually sensitive artists. It is not unusual to
be carried away by the visual stimulation provided by exciting landscapes and
seascapes and take off on a journey of exploration.
For me, the adventure of Nature inspired new discoveries,
the stretching of the imagination and producing original artistic delights is
the most satisfying aspect of art making.
ABC TV broadcast a most interesting program late
last night: Herb and Dorothy - The Vogel Collection. It was about a New York
couple who started collecting modern "new" art more than 50 years ago and
amassed a quality collection.
Not being rich, they restricted their collection to
affordable art pieces. They nearly always selected prominent artists or upcoming
and emerging ones who invariably became famous as time went by. They
focused on the latest trends in art and bought the most progressive paintings,
sculptures and installation pieces. They focused on abstract, minimalist
and conceptual art without limiting their interest to any one movement.
They had a few rules for collecting: they had to
like the piece, they should be able to take it with them on public transport or
taxi and it should be able to fit into their apartment. Usually they met the
artists face to face and following a friendly discussion they ended up buying
something relatively modestly priced. They had an unusually sharp eye to
pick out the best art pieces available at the time.
They followed current trends by visiting progressive
art galleries, attending museum exhibitions and such. The wife's income
was spent on rent, food and necessities, whilst the husband's earning was
devoted to purchasing art. When they did not have enough money to buy a piece
they loved, they payed instalments, or when they could not afford a Christo
installation, they ended up baby-sitting Christo's cats in return for a drawing.
Their small flat was crowded with artworks, all
walls were covered with drawings, paintings and bas-reliefs and sculptures.
The whole flat resembled a hoarder's abode, except every available space was
filled with artworks not junk.
Their collection, which they exhibited in various
galleries time to time, was eventually donated to the National Gallery of Art in
Washington USA. It worth many millions today, in fact, it is considered
Driven by their obsessive love of art, it is amazing
how much they managed to achieve on a limited budget. It is also amazing
how much pleasure they got out of this passion for art.
Herbert and Dorothy Vogel Collection
Featured abstract geometric painting
Yellow spectrum shift
51x76cm / 20x30in, acrylic on
© Ernie Gerzabek 1999-2016
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