Ken-en-plein-air

Marunowski painting at Camden Harbor, Maine, 2015

 

Like so many artists past and present, nature serves as my primary source of inspiration. I revel in the many “scapes” available to explore, whether land, sea or sky, and sometimes even sound. I represent this inspiration through oil paintings and drawings in pencil, charcoal or pastel, usually of a modest size, though lately in increasingly larger formats. I typically explore a given subject, or motif, more than once, using repetition as a means to more fully understand it and my feelings for it, which allows for a more complete form of expression. These feelings and sensations I derive from nature are, in part, what compel me to paint, for example, the magnitude of mountains, vast and overwhelming, or the mesmerizing calm evoked by the soft trickle of a lonesome creek. Nature is, in other words, my point of departure.

Ideally, while painting before the motif, “en plein air,” as the French call it, I follow these feelings, allowing them, along with the motif, to guide me, my color choices, my mark-making such that I depart from literal depiction and approach the poetic, the expressive. When I am able to inhabit this blissful space, proceeding almost unknowingly, caught up deeply within the moment of creation, and hovering somewhere between representation and abstraction, my painting is at its best. It is this aspect of making the painting, that is, exploring the relationship among nature, my materials, and my “art spirit,” that pushes me further and further along the artistic path, an open-ended journey of self-discovery to be shared with all who dare.

Kenneth Marunowski, March 2016