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Archive for January 8th, 2010

When I was first starting to paint, one of the painters that I admired when I first ran across his work was the Modernist painter of the early 20th century, Arthur Dove.  As I was beginning to form my own visual vocabulary, I found many similarities in how Dove and I represented certain elements in our paintings. This gave me a feeling that I may be following the right path and gave me a little more certainty and confidence in my own work.  I was also drawn by the duality in his work between the abstract and the representational.  There was always the sense that you were looking at something recognizable and familiar even when there was definite abstraction present.  This was something I have aspired for in my own work.

I didn’t know much about the man but was also pleased when I found that he was from the Finger Lakes region of NY  and had been educated just up the road at Cornell.  No big deal, obviously, but it gave me an insight into the influence of the local landscape in his work and his eye that I could compare to my own.

One of the factors in being self-taught for me, was in finding an artist that I could identify with , who seemed to have a similar feel for how things would translate in different media.  I am surprised, even today, how much of my early work resembles some Dove pieces that I have only seen recently for the first time.

I can’t say I loved all of Dove’s work.  I don’t know if anybody can say that about any other human if their work fully represents them.  But I do admire the spirit and feeling of his work and know my work is better for it.

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