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I paint everyday. I do studies. I paint walls. My studio is canvas, wood, tools and paint. It is my laboratory. It is a place for me to paint fresh and allow my inspiration to flow. I bring ideas here. Ideas for my paintings evolve from the experiences I have, colors that inspire me, and the objects that surround me everyday. I take these and put them together as a still life. The still life setting is my outlet. As a still life painter, I abstract elements in each painting allowing other qualities to take on a stronger role. I combine these abstracted forms with realistic and expressionistic views of objects, shapes and color. Part of my inspiration is pushing the boundaries of what can be done from a two-dimensional perspective. I need objects to exist figuratively to the extent that they define the space of a setting. I am fascinated with this space and the way that it can hold objects together or pull them apart. It is with color and texture I shape the focus of a painting and frame the essence of a still life setting with the feeling of a place.
The shapes of nature are so much more surprising than what I imagine them to be. And so, I start with something tangible. In drawing the curves and winding trails of a branch in bloom, I have learned that beauty is in the unexpected and momentary. I consider the fleeting images that represent change: a sequin of light, a passing shadow, tangles of blurred lines, the places where growth blooms and withers along an otherwise bare branch. I am interested in exploring nature’s point of view - how nature might perceive itself on the inside. From this perspective, I imagine a chaotic tumble of change and growth, a relentless and overwhelming surge of interconnected events. Painting takes the form of inquiry where my process is made visible. I want to hold a moment in my focus, noticing the fragility of its current state before it quickly becomes something completely different. In this way, I am watchful of my surroundings. There is beauty in unexpected places, not just waiting to be found, but waiting to really be seen.
John Schuyler was born in Long Island, NY in 1965. After early success as a business entrepreneur, Schuyler looked toward Europe for inspiration. He found it in the Old World art technique of fresco and in the colors, smells, and textures of the Tuscan countryside. Schuyler began experimenting with fresco techniques when he returned to the United State. As he explored the possibilities of fresco, Schuyler became absorbed in the coarseness created by different applications of the plaster to his canvas. Thus, he is able to produce very rich and dynamic textures. Looking at any of his pieces, you are given to a sudden urge to run a hand over the surface of his paintings. As Schuyler's captivation with texture progressed, the content and form of his paintings became simpler. Color, studies replaced traditional forms of content in his pieces, and the balance and contrast of color became the second focal point of Schuyler's paintings. He infuses pigment into wet plaster so that color becomes part of the texture, rather than being applied to it. Schuyler strenuously scrapes acrylic paint and pigmented plaster from the surface of the linen in a style known as scraffito. This technique produces very deep and luminescent colors that heighten the effect of Schuyler's composition. Warm, earthy tones dominate his most recent work, the Paesaggio series, a reflection of his memories of a Tuscan summer. Schuyler's unconventional approach to fresco culminates in paintings that leave a powerful impression on the viewer. His rough texture alludes to a passionate physicality while its simplicity in form reflects a cool logic, a balance inherent in all his pieces.
Karen Tusinski lives and works in the Cape Ann region of Massachusetts. She graduated with her B.F.A. in Painting from Montserrat College of Art in 1998. Her first passion in her work is color relationships. Her palette is balanced, earthy and vibrant. With flat space as her agent, Karen paints images that remind us of the comforts of home. Bowls, vases, bottles, flowers, and textile design serve as shapes to inform/inspire color dynamics. While in the process of painting, Karen challenges herself by playing with the space between and around her subjects; composition is a playground where relationships between space, color, and form develop. In her work, she often calls upon one of her favorite muses; the fleeting, red bloom of the Poppy flower. Karen uses her imagination to create whimsical and wild arrangements of poppies, grounding them in hearty vessels. Often, she’ll use geometric patterns acting as banners at the base (and occasionally up the sides), of her paintings to further anchor her subjects in space. Her paintings easily tap into joy and the effervescent quality of hope.