Robert Connell: As I See It will be on exhibition August 5 - October 1, 2022. Join us for an opening reception August 4th from 6-8pm.
As I See It
My art is about place and memory of places I have seen. I create an artwork that is a specific location and then is transformed into a personal statement.
I search out a location that speaks to me. It is usually buildings, mountains, street, woods. I paint on location, out of my SUV. I don’t use a camera, I try to accurately create on paper what I see. When it is completed, it is a black and white silhouette of the site. I have been interested in Asian Art for the past 50 years and I paint with a calligraphy brush and black sumi ink on white paper. I attempt to develop an image that utilizes positive and negative space, foreground, middle ground and background in the artwork. At this stage the artwork is very abstract. I carry a sketchbook with me to draw the location and note the colors and light. I return home and add color to the painting in my studio using my memory of the site and notes from my sketchbook.
To add color, I use gouache paint and roll the color on the black areas of the ink painting. At one time my artwork was a spontaneous black and white ink painting. I wanted to add color but not paint on top of this plein-air painting with another brush. At this time, I was working in advertising and would receive newspaper proofs, sometimes in one or two colors. The newspaper printing press would just roll the color over the black areas. I thought that’s how I could add color to my work. I bought a printmaker’s brayer and using gouache, a water-based paint, I added color. The color separates and delineates the parts of the picture and adds depth. The subject matter can change as I develop the picture from a realistic view to an emotional interpretation.
—Robert Connell, 2022