Artist's Statement


Artist's Statement




Figures 1

Figures 2

Landscapes 1

Landscapes 2





Painting for me is about three things:

1. Creating—Taking a blank surface and putting something new upon it, using shape, line, and color.

2. Communicating—Sharing my creation with others. My desire is not to create something in isolation. I want viewers to grasp some of what I see and feel.

3. Learning—I am committed to my own development. I like to learn new things. Each work is an opportunity to grow.

My need to learn means that I paint many different subjects and in many different styles. If I can do something well, I want to "move on" to other types of painting. This experimentation results in a diverse body of work where the only common denominator is that I created all the paintings. Viewers who require that a painter has one recognizable style will be disappointed. My freedom to paint differently, if I choose, is a right I hold dear.

For this site, I have organized the work into eight parts. The first three are more abstract, the next four are more realistic, and the eighth part is a "catch all" for works that don't fit in the first seven categories.

My work in abstraction I call "searching for structure." Since pure abstraction is not about anything concrete, "there is no there there." Often there is no top, no bottom, no horizon. In such a non-representational world, how does a painter structure the picture plane?

I have learned that there are many ways either to impose or to discover structure on a canvas. The site's first three parts focus on three organizing mechanisms: marks, webs, and grids.

The traditional division between abstraction and realism is one I often avoid. Many times I paint in the "murky middle." The viewer can usually tell what I am painting, but not always. I have grouped paintings that are more realistic, or recognizable, into Parts Four, Five, Six, and Seven: Figures 1, Figures 2, Landscapes 1, and Landscapes 2.

Willoughby Walling, 2011