5054 E Nordic Woods Dr Byron, IL 61010 815.566.1043
I paint acrylic on wood panels. In my studio process, I pursue reciprocity between random and structured effects. I begin by layering an armature of marks, texture and visual information – random effects. The next step is intuitive response; developing structure where the piece leads me. Working first reductive, then alternating additive and reductive responses, I discover and build visual structure through color transitions, rhythm, movement, and figure/ground shifts. The third step, informed elaboration, is more assertive and brings the piece to a cohesive finished statement. I typically develop images in sets sharing a common palette, grid or structural format, and image reference.
Aesthetically I subscribe to Rembrandt’s concept of the viewer as a partner. He advocated the use of implied line and other visual completion devices to involve the viewer in a very direct, sensate, perceptual way, assembling images. In my painting, I pursue this through figure/ground shifts. Figure/ground refers to object and context, while shifts refer to an alternating emphasis and rendering weaving between object and context. This give and take creates a system that is expansive, mutual and synergistic. In some ways, a marriage between figure/ground, working together they generate a sum greater than their parts. In my painting, I emphasize these shifts to engage viewers on a sensate path to discovery with the opportunity to insert their narrative into the painting.
In terms of content, I believe the paintings - balancing things random and things controlled - act as metaphors for how we encounter life. The shifts, internal and external, reflect how we sort and find order, purpose and worth. My studio process, aesthetic and interpretive choices target the same goal - a dynamic connection for the viewer - an interaction completing the painting. My paintings succeed when they offer this connection, a visual experience for the viewer that balances density and breath and, with each encounter, feels familiar and gives the discovery of fresh, new complexities.
Ted Simmering 2011