Presented by Thomas Helmick
The work shown in this exhibit is part of a continued study of landscape. In a landscape, as in all nature, there is a certain indomitable power and beauty, an indefinable mystical essence. It is these rare places untouched by the desensitizing encroachment of all of us that I am drawn to, that excite me and at the same time provide solace. Since my early years as an artist it has been my desire to capure this essence of natural landscape in abstract form.
I start with representational drawings done on site. A particular drawing will then become the basic composition for the painting or pastel. Then using color and line, I work to eliminate the representational in order to freely express the essential nature of that landscape. In my early work I pushed the elimination of the representational to a point of no recognizable references. Now in the more recent work I find I'm not pushing quite so far, leaving more to recognize. This pushis finding that edge between representational figurative painting and pure abstraction.
The paintings are done in oil on canvas or masonite panel. In them I try to capture the enveloping vastness of the earth and sky. The pastels, done on paper, are of a more intimate type of locale and space and reflect that intimacy with a controlled vibrancy. The themes of my work range from the Grand Canyon and the Trinity River to the Tuscany and the Salisbury Plain. - Thomas Helmick