DREAMERS - Solo Show of New Works
By Craig Kosak
Artist Reception: Saturday, April 8th 1-4pm
A Moment of Solitude Oil, wax and varnish on canvas (framed) 22” x 48”, $3,500
Lifeline II - Oil, wax and varnish on panel-mounted canvas 30” x 60” $3,900
Blue Yonder - Oil on panel-mounted canvas 30” x 50” (SOLD)
Martian Retrograde 30 x 20 Oil on panel $1,800
Follow Me 40 x 30 Oil on panel $3,200
Sending Birds to Watch Over You 30 x 20 Oil on panel (SOLD)
Follow Me 40 x 30 Oil on panel $3,200
"It has been said that a painting is an emotional experience. Whether I’m making contemporary wildlife work or big brush abstracts the goal for my work is always the same: to find new ways of seeing emotional events and situations and in doing so, make the experience as emotionally rich as possible. While I love making my representational work, the creative inspiration driving these big brush paintings was so powerful it’s as if the work demanded to be made and I was simply following instructions. Each new tool or technique seemed to materialize precisely when needed. Daily walks in the forest, views of the Salish Sea and encounters with the local wildlife provide a wealth of emotive inspiration from which the paintings are derived. And with each stroke, new ideas are born and I’m drawn deeper into exploring the idea that a brush stroke might be the most powerful way to share the feelings of what it is like to be alive."—Craig
The process: The close-up images show the texture of the work. Backgrounds are created with a painting squeegee and the paint formula retains the grain of the brush stroke. The work is finished with a wax and varnish mixture then a final coat of wax is applied to the stroke and hand polished. The paintings look lovely under display lighting and look even better in natural ambient light as the strokes respond to the color and direction of light, revealing their full depth.
The largest brush is made from nine pounds of black mane and tail hair. A bit of white mane hair left over from a previous brush-build was added for fun; turns out it’s an excellent indicator of paint loading and cleaning progress.
Heron & Temple Bell 36 x 22 Oil on canvas $2,900
Heron & Temple Bell #2 24 x 24 Oil $2,200
Grace and Mercury 60 x 40 Oil $7,400 (SOLD)
Sun Blanket 12 x 9 Oil $800
Chilkat Blanket 12 x 9 Oil $800
Raven Blanket #2 12 x 9 Oil $800
Saratoga Moonrise 36 x 22 Oil $2,900
Soul Mates 36 x 21 Oil $2,800
Gifted 19 x 8 Oil $850
White Shield I 36 x 22 Oil on canvas $2,500
Lifeline I 21 x 36 Oil on canvas (SOLD)
Gypsy 48 x 32 Oil (SOLD)
Craig Kosak - Artist’s Statement
The first chapter of my career found me living in the city and traveling the American west seeking answers in the National Parks. While I had not intended to make "western" paintings the influence of the landscape and wildlife was undeniable. In early 2011 I purchased five acres of rural forest on an island in the Salish Sea and built a modest artist's compound named Ravendell. My travels around the west are done. My life, and my work are now about the land and the creatures with whom I live. And the solitude.
The local wildlife provide inspiration for paintings that explore my new path. In my quest for more emotive work I've developed an expressive mark making technique using home-made horsehair brushes and special paint formulas. The large underlying strokes give each work a unique texture and are allowed to show through in some areas, revealing the full depth of the painting.
Working alone in my rural setting is at times sublime and at others, challenging. More than a bit of courage is required to deal with the solitude and the path it reveals. As my work matures I've found my most faithful companion is color. Inspired by hues of the sea, sky and forest, blocks of color have emerged from the background to become part of the subject matter. I used to say I painted wildlife with colorful backgrounds. Now I say, I paint wildlife and color. It's less about telling a story and more about sharing a feeling.