Artist Doris Vasek creates complex layered abstracts using oil and cold wax. Enjoy her fascinating portfolio and view more of her artwork on her website.
My experience in the arts was always in the fiber field—spinning, weaving and quilting. For those arts, I taught myself to dye yarn and fabric. Then, with no painting background, I decided to learn watercolors. Although I was really naïve, it was actually an advantage for me. I quickly realized I already knew color theory from dyeing my own fabric and yarn. There were many conversations in my head that dye equals watercolors.
I was inspired to learn more when I gained access to workshops taught by some of the best national artists. I started hosting these same artists to teach in my hometown. Through them I discovered oils with cold wax medium.
I was converted to non-representational and abstracted realism, quickly discovering it was more interesting to work from my own ideas than to look for the perfect subject matter as I had done with my realistic watercolors.
The tactile, sensual feel of oil and cold wax still amazes me. It feels like I can hear the paint me telling where to take it. As Austin Kleon says, “Art takes you where it wants to go.”
I start with one idea but quickly end up in a different place. Because there are many layers, I can cut down into layers underneath and bring them back to the surface. It is a real push and pull for me. All of the colors I have applied are still living in the layers. They are a built-in history of the piece.
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Many of my paintings are based on dreams of flying or just looking out the windows of my studio. They are a compressed, flattened view of the earth below or places around me. Or, it may be the whole universe above me.
I can explore these ideas using color, composition, design and mark-making processes. I will use just about any tool I have handy; interestingly, my least favorite tool is a brush.
When a painting catches the attention of a viewer from across the room, I want them to be drawn closer. When they approach the piece, they will find little areas that only a close relationship with the painting can reveal. I want the viewer to slow down and look at even the smallest bit. I am honored to have them study a painting from near and far and I hope they stay for a while.
My paintings are in many private collections around the United States. They have been accepted into numerous national exhibitions and won awards in these exhibitions. In 2019, I was a featured artist for Ampersand Art. In 2018, I was honored with a solo show at China Basin in San Francisco.
In addition, I enjoy teaching an introduction to oil and cold wax painting and how to find inspiration for abstract painting for galleries and art associations around the country.
Most days, you can find me in my happy place in my studio in Rockwall, Texas.
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