Artist Abby Zonies presents a selection of gouache and mixed media paintings that explode in a riot of color. Visit her website to see more of her work.
My work is a hallucinatory and raucous blend of color, marks and gesture that seeks to reveal something about the world around us.
I am an expressionist painter—I manipulate color and gesture to evoke thoughts and emotions. I currently use gouache and mixed media on paper to choreograph an action-filled explosion of color, paint, pattern and movement.
I entered the fine arts department at Boston University in the late seventies when many museums and galleries had lost interest in representation. I was a painterly realist of landscape and still life. At that time, constructing a convincing recognizable three-dimensional form on the surface of a two-dimensional canvas felt magical. I preferred slow drying, wet on wet oil paint. I painted my surroundings from observation and sought to reveal something about our relationship with the world.
The best moment during the process of making a painting was when the color, paint, pattern and movement took over. That’s when the act of making a painting became a conversation and I could hear the painting tell me what to do.
In 2013, after spending most of my adult life as a realist painter and teacher at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, my husband and I seized the opportunity to move to Manhattan. I was and remain very excited to have the opportunity to live in a city entrenched in the arts—I indulge in it all.
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As I adjusted to a new place and a new studio, the move emboldened me to challenge my work.
I am now working in gouache. The saturated and vibrant colors are very appealing. It changes color as it dries, and I look forward to seeing the color reveal itself to me—I enjoy the surprise.
My hand is present in my work and fluid gestures prevail. I seek out other familiar and friendly materials, such as pencils, pens, and various markers. I often begin with random marks, only some of which will survive the process.
I lay down color, work, and overwork. I wait for the moment when the work and I begin our conversation. Sometimes I get the cold shoulder. Other times I resume our conversation later.
My allegiance to the recognizable world began to wane when I came to New York. Today, I look inward to expose something about the world around me—it is new terrain—the color, marks and gestures of the work are the principal players combining to indulge our visual senses. They tell a story, reveal a secret and capture a moment of time.
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