Patrick M. Parise

Artist Statement (October 2011)

Drawn to Nature – Looking Back

If asked about how I chose the subjects for this current body of work, it’s easy to answer – I love landscapes. “Looking Back” is an accumulation of landscape images drawn from memories and photos of different phases of my personal history over the years. I am greatly influenced by having grown up near the shore of New Jersey and travels through the rolling hills and lush countryside of the “Garden State.” It’s likely my appreciation for skies expanded while travelling in the Midwest, where the sky is such a big part of the landscape. That experience brought to my consciousness how truly majestic and vast the sky can be. This strong draw to nature continued when I moved to South Carolina and vacationed at beaches and mountains in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida. All of these experiences sparked my interest in researching the landscape, visually, as a subject to paint. Landscape scenes resonate with me. I have the opportunity to take my memories – the images and feelings – and suit them to my style of painting. I enjoy not just the traditional, representational sense of painting landscapes based on those memories, but also the myriad colors and shapes I have learned to see in nature. On my daily treks I am constantly amazed and influenced by the diversity in the landscape due to the change of seasons and variance of light at any given moment.

While landscapes are the predominant part of my work I also enjoy painting non-representational contemporary pieces. Because I love working with color, and am always looking to expand my palette, both are natural choices for me and the methodology is essentially the same. Sometimes I start with a traditional idea and follow it through, but sometimes the idea morphs into less defined shapes of color and an abstraction as the end result. I work on wood panels, canvas, and paper, using acrylics and oils. I like working on a very smooth, slick surface, which allows me to continuously layer and build the colors to create the dramatic image I’m seeking without being heavy-handed. The challenge for me is always about color and the contrast between light and dark.

My desire has always been to make art, and I am fortunate to be able to actually do what I love every day.