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Gary Solomon


I am an intuitive artist and for me art is a spiritual expression of who I am and what I truly care about. My work references the childlike spontaneity of the Cobra group and a diverse eclecticism.

Prize Finalist Badge Prize Finalist

Artworks: 11

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About Gary Solomon

My work references the childlike spontaneity of the Cobra group and a diverse eclecticism ranging from child and tribal art to abstract expressionism and the work of Picasso. In my art I use raw and simple line and an economy of means within a multi layered textural surface.

Often layers of paint are applied and scraped away to reveal the textural effect desired.

My sculptures are often constructed from found objects: wood and metal and natural elements, and they often have a figurative, tribal and playful quality to them.

My process when making a piece of art is firstly to prepare the space. I like to work, unlike most artists, in a clean, ordered and beautiful space. So I periodically clean up my studio and it feels like I am letting go of a whole lot of old, stale energy. I like to keep a journal and to record dreams and thoughts and ideas. I find that this writing is very helpful for me and very affirming. It often reminds me that I am an artist and that what I do is very important.

Writing is a vital part of my creative process. I also find that gardening and cleaning help me to get into a receptive mood to paint. Interestingly I find that doing the morning quick crossword helps me to start thinking laterally and creatively. I also find that a routine of yoga, gym and daily walks all help with the creative process. Soon there comes a time when I enter my studio and pull out a new canvas and simply make a start. I put some paint down often using some water to help the paint flow and help me to loosen up.

The painting process is an instinctive one and after a while I will step back and take a look at where the painting is at. The more painting I do the more deeply immersed I get into the painting process. I paint quickly and energetically and there comes a time when I clean up and leave the studio and close the studio door. Often I have a feeling of how the painting has been going. I know when I have been tentative and when I have been free and spontaneous. Often when I start a painting I like to see it through. This means that I will keep going back to the painting. Sometimes I will turn the painting upside down or sideways just to see it differently.

Sometimes in my process I reach a low point where I really can’t see where I am going anymore with this painting. It feels like I have drifted off from the safety of the shore. I know also that when I reach this point I can also, paradoxically, be very close to a resolution. Because I have entered unknown territory I am prepared to take risks. i am prepared to risk losing the painting, which I have carefully nurtured along over the past few days or weeks or even years, in order to find it again. Quite suddenly and often totally unexpectedly I make a breakthrough and then painting feels natural and I feel relieved and happy and grateful for coming through.

I believe in enjoying the process of painting and in painting freely and spontaneously. I find that if I am too intellectual I often get a tight painting.

I find that each painting seems to have its own energy and that some seem to get resolved very easily whereas others seem to always be works in progress.

I like to work in my studio each day and I find that this helps me to enter the painting process quite naturally. I like to work for short periods and then walk away from the painting. I seem to be able to see the work more clearly when I return to the studio and have a clearer idea of where to proceed.

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