Artist Mark E. Weleski uses shaped canvases to add form and dimensionality to his colorful abstract imagery. See more of his work by visiting his website.
I, like most creative people, strive to do work that not only challenges me, but inspires me to continue on a progressive path. While developing sketches for a graduate class in sculpture, I wondered if these drawn ideas could be utilized for painting.
I found that with some modifications and color interaction the sketches were starting to work and stand alone as two-dimensional pieces.
The more I played with this concept, the more I became dissatisfied with just confining the drawing to a traditional quadrilateral space and challenged myself to think outside of the box.
At this point came the challenge of shaping a beveled frame and stretching the canvas over an irregular perimeter. I am now happy to say that after several years of trial and error I mastered that dilemma. Instead of trying to fit my sketch into a “box” I let my imagination explore it as it sees fit.
Traditionally I am a realist and I still go back to realism; if for no other reason than just to keep up with and hone my skills.
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I truly believe that in order to achieve a viable abstraction, it must be based on the breakdown of the realistic. The sketches and design that I develop for my contemporary paintings are usually figurative compositions that I take apart and reassemble.
They are my interpretation of human conditions, situations or themes using interlocking forms and the relationship that develops. Progressively, the interaction of expressive or symbolic color added and reworked into the sketches supplements the work with dimension and body. It brings life to the sketch.
The inspiration for my contemporary work could be as simple as something that stuck with me from a conversation or as complex as a social movement. Sketching out the concept, altering the design and injecting coloration to the piece is what motivates me. I will do this until the entire work speaks to me before I even consider creating the painting.
I have been creating these acrylic or oil paintings for more than two decades and I still find the challenge and inspiration to be as productive as it was for me when I first began these pieces.
Fortunately, the jurors over the years also found these works to be saying something to them. I have been honored to be accepted to group shows at the Warhol, Carnegie, Westmoreland Museum of Art, Pennsylvania State Museum, the Erie Art Museum and more.
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