The Explosive Image


© 2000

In the early 70's I did many small oil paintings that combined the human figure and the environment transformed in various ways. I used oil paint as if it was tempera. The paint was applied flat and there was no attempt to use texture or to explore the wider possibilities of oil paint. Later in the 70's I turned to watercolors, usually in a larger format (30 X 22"). The figures in the paintings became more dominant, filling the available area.

In the 1980's I continued to use paper as my painting surface and began to combine other media in order to extend the range of possibilities for expression. Pastel was combined with watercolor to increase the range and strength of colors. Then, I started to use oil paint as a way to extend the time I could work to develop an image, make alterations, and create layers of paint; texture was still limited. The subjects remained the same - the human figure - but there was less obvious fantasy and more reliance on shape, color, line, and movement as the means to convey feelings. My intent was to give form to my feelings and evoke - rather than present or illustrate - the same in the viewer.

During this period I learned how to make monotypes (1984). This method provided a way to further the physical process of creating an image. From the start I worked in a large format (30 X 22") and used a very direct process relying on my spontaneous interaction with the material. Etching inks made it possible to increase the range and brilliance of the colors. Also, I discovered new ways to apply and remove color, to make unique markings, as a way to embed expression in the material itself. In fact, the process of making monotypes contributed greatly to my later return to oil painting; it gave me the clues and experiences for applying paint to a surface in new and expressive ways.

12 3

1 "Muse of the Night", 30 X 22", Mixed Media (82-10)

2 "Light and Shadow", 30 X 22", Mixed Media/paper (82-3)

3 "Reaching Down", 30 X 22", Mixed Media/paper (82-8)

Click on highlighted numbers for larger images.

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For more information, or to comment, please contact Norman Sasowsky by clicking the following e-mail address: