Elwood Howell - Paintings and Art
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Elwood Howell

Elwood Howell

East Hampton, NY

When approaching my work only a vague idea is in mind of what is to take place on the blank canvas. There is an intense desire to stir visual emotions, particularly my own fervency and then of other future viewers. No attempt is being made to jar anyone's mind, create an intellectual dialog with another or make a political statement. However, an encounter is what is offered and do believe it is enough to ask of paint, in my case acrylic, along with other mark makers such as ink, pencil and charcoal. All on either canvas, linen,paper or wood.

The greater body of my work is primary landscapes and seascapes of an imaginary nature created in the studio. Most works have a generally high horizon as a focal point to lure one's eye into the simple composition. The large area below the horizon down to the base of the canvas gives the viewer's eye freedom to roam the surface. This space gives the painting life much as soil nourishes the very roots of a tree. The imagery at the horizon gives a focal point and the expanse above serves as atmosphere to set the mood. This has been a format I have used for over forty years and it still intrigues me.

In the process of correlating the colors, values and markings, with the aforementioned ink, paint, charcoal, pencil and even by sanding, a visual conversation begins between the painting and the painter. Thus, by adjusting again and again, from hints given by previously applied paint, sometimes even an abrupt and complete change over the earlier endeavors is commanded. The discourse will probably continue forward, just as communications sometimes do with people, for new thoughts can hover about and overtime a need is created for further deliberation. Thus some “completed” works have required changes years later. Sometimes discussions, of whatever nature, never seem to be finished.

When a painting is viewed down the road by another person, maybe they too will encounter a visual voice, which probably will be of a totally different nature than has been envisioned. However, and hopefully, at that time some connection will take root and a soul will be nourished.

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