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.

**********

The Source

Over the years I’ve made several paintings called The Source, including a small group of tondos I made a few years ago. It’s a theme which has captured my imagination since I first saw a photo of Courbet’s famous painting of the same title.

This painting was exhibited at my 2016 exhibition at Yumart. It’s encaustic on wood and it’s about 18 inches wide.

The Source_.jpg

 

Special Sauce

This painting goes back to the early 90s. It’s acrylic on canvas and I think it’s about 50 inches square. I made this painting after a couple weeks fly fishing for trout in Idaho, Wyoming and Yellowstone with my friend East Texas Red. There was a time we traveled to the mountain west pretty much each September in pursuit of trout, and usually I came back refreshed and ready to get back to work in the studio.

IMG_8816.jpg

After this particular trip I made two good-sized paintings with the intention of working on a new series. I was going to call it West. Something or another – I don’t recall just what – interrupted my continuity after two paintings and that was the end of the series. I didn’t exhibit either painting at the time, but only because my direction had shifted. Both paintings survived the various purges and iffy storage situations my work has been subjected to over the years, though, and this one hangs in our home. I’m sure any readers who have lived in the mountain west will know what the title refers to.

 

The Last Word

This small painting (about the size of a large dinner plate) was intended for my last solo show but was not exhibited. It’s acrylic on masonite and it floats off the wall a little bit. I’ll let this one speak for itself.

The Last Word.jpg

The Last Word, 2017

 

The Niagara Street Two Step

Niagara St.jpg

This is an oil on canvas from the early 90s. The title refers to the studio building I was living and working in at the time. It’s 54X24 inches. I didn’t exhibit this one around the time I made it, although I don’t recall why that is so. There are certain paintings which have resonated with me for a really long time for one reason or another and this is one of those.

 

Stormchaser’s Dream

Stormchaser’s Dream is one of the group of encaustics I exhibited at my former gallery Yumart, back in 2016.

Stormchaser's Dream.jpg

Stormchaser’s Dream, 2016, encaustic on wood

Like the others, I started with a lozenge-shaped chunk of wood which I created from a plank using a jigsaw and a mini-grinder. I applied the pigmented wax with various tools and also carved back into the wax, a process which reminded me of an art activity I did as a kid with wax crayons. As the painting took shape I began thinking about those characters who drive around North America in camper vans with the goal of driving into crazy-assed storms, just because.

 

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.

**********

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.

**********

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.

img_6519

Summer Days, acrylic on masonite, 2017

 

**********

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.

 

The Things we used to Do_.jpg

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.

 

 

 

Have your say...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s