lengrayeck.com
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Why do I paint? 

Twenty years ago, painting started as a form of therapy for me and it is the main reason why I made it through the tough times in my life. 

 

Painting still means the world to me. When the work is going well, I am filled with a sense of industrious wonder.  It allows me to express and process the world around me.  It also gives me a way to share my thoughts and feelings with other people visually instead of verbally. When people see my work, my hope is they discover a particular feeling or mood – whether it’s a feeling from a long time ago or a new one.

 

Art as a process

I begin a piece by concentrating on the feeling that I want to convey. Out of the thousands of images that catch my eye, only a select few ever make it into a painting.  The images that ‘stick’ in my visual memory the longest tend to become the masterpieces.  The difficulty lies in getting the image from my heart and mind onto the canvas and then getting the image to convey the feeling it is supposed to. I know a piece is done when the image captured is displayed on my canvas. That is when I know “it works”.

 

The palette knife is one of my favorite tools to use because I use it to mix the paint. Mixing the paint is one of the most fun aspects of painting for me.  Years ago I heard that a “rule” in painting is to never mix more than three colors at a time.  There are times when I mix up to seven or eight different colors to get the exact hue that I am looking for.  Breaking some rules can be half the fun sometimes!

 

Acrylic paint is my favorite medium to paint with.  It is very versatile – it can be used as a watercolor or it can be used like oil paint.  The fast drying time allows for multiple layers during each painting session, which allows the painting many layers of complexities.  This is most frequently demonstrated in the skies of my landscapes. 

 

All of my pieces are acrylic and are varnished.  Most acrylic painters neglect to varnish their paintings because they may not know any better.  I was fortunate enough to be enlightened about extending the life and value of acrylic paintings by varnishing them.

 

The work

My current workload includes landscapes and the occasional abstract piece, but my primary focus is on portraiture. 

After working on fairly large pieces for a long time (generally 24”X30”, 30”X40” and even some 48”X48” canvases), I’ve recently expanded my focus to include smaller pieces (9”X12” and 18”X24”) that compel me to work differently than before.

 

The future

I want to continue exploring and sharing the wonders of painting. 

Each painting is a new discovery of new worlds waiting to be expressed.


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