Paintings by Eugene Knapik

I’ll be using this space to feature paintings I currently have in inventory. I have no immediate exhibitions planned so you can expect to see both new works fresh from the studio as well as a selection of works spanning back to the 80s, 90s, and into the 2000s. Anyone interested in purchasing any of my paintings, arranging commissions or just chatting about my work can contact me directly by email.

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Deluge

A few years ago I made some small paintings using materials like cardboard, flyers, and various other bits and pieces of stuff I found around the studio. I used an add-and-substract process, gluing materials on, adding paint then ripping back layers of material. They’re bumpy and awkward. They creep past the edges of the ground. To me these paintings feel active and vigorous.

Deluge is about 18 inches wide. Back when I was still engaged in the work-a-day world, I had it hanging in my office and there it received the best compliment from someone I work with. She looked at it and asked, “was this made by a child?” “No,” I said, “It’s adult art.” “Really?” “Yes, really.” I enjoyed having this in my workspace. It nourished my restless imagination.

I think I completed 4 of these paintings. I gifted one of them and I still have the others. They’ve never been exhibited. They were plenty of fun to make and one day I expect I’ll do more work with impermanent materials like corrugated cardboard.

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St. Phillips

In late September/early October of 2001, Sheila and I honeymooned in Newfoundland. We did lots of hiking and some landscape drawing while we were there, but most importantly, the trip inspired a lengthy series of paintings. I had a new studio, a 12X12 wood shed behind our little house. I called it my Secret Lab. Through the fall and into winter of 2001, through the first months of 2002, I experienced one of my most prolific periods of paintings. I worked on many paintings at the same time. I had them spread out on the floor, walls and on any surface which could hold a painting. These were oil paintings, which I built up over time, session after session until the final image emerged. Here is one of the paintings from that period which I still have. It’s called St. Phillips after a community in Newfoundland, near which we enjoyed a marvelous long hike. I believe I exhibited this one at Loop Gallery in an exhibition called Field & Stream. This painting is smallish, maybe 18 inches tall.

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Summer Days

Last year I exhibited a series of shaped paintings. I was feeling like I had reached some kind of cul-de-sac with my painting – I had painted myself into a corner, and I needed to break out. Breaking out meant breaking from the rectangular picture plane and simplifying my images, trying to see how much I could do with very little. Among the broader shaped series was a smaller sub-series I called Summer Days. This one is about 19 inches tall. It’s acrylic paint on masonite.

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Summer Days, acrylic on masonite, 2017

 

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The Things We Used to Do

This painting is part of series of encaustics (wax paintings) I made in 2015/2016 on shaped pieces of wood. I started by cutting the wood into various lengths, and cut each into rough capsule-shapes with a jigsaw. I then carved off the sharp edges so there would be a more or less smooth transition, making the entire visible part of the shape into picture plane.

I built the image up in layers, using a combination of pre-prepared encaustic colours as well as beeswax mixed with a small percentage of damar gum coloured with oil paints. I improvised the images as I built up  and pulled back layers of encaustic, creating, re-shaping and destroying images as I worked in session after session on a few of these capsules at once.

 

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The Things we used to do – encaustic on wood – 2016

At a certain point, this one reminded me of cave paintings and I enjoyed that. Sometimes as a painter I feel making marks puts me in touch with the first painters, using images to make some sense of the crazy world around us. I came up with the title Things We Used To Do, which which obviously refers to some unspecified past and at the same time alludes to the 1954 Guitar Slim blues, The Things that I used to Do.

 

 

 

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