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It has been said that a painting is an emotional experience. Whether Iím making contemporary wildlife work or big brush abstracts my goal is always the same: to find new ways of seeing emotional events and situations and in doing so, make the experience as rich as possible. While I love making my representational work, the creative inspiration driving these big brush paintings was so powerful itís as if the work demanded to be made and I was simply following instructions. Each new tool or technique materialized precisely when needed. Daily walks in the forest, views of the Salish Sea and encounters with the local wildlife provide a wealth of emotive inspiration from which the paintings are derived. And with each stroke, new ideas are born and Iím drawn deeper into exploring the idea that a brush stroke might be the most powerful way to share the feeling of what it is like to be alive.

Craig

 


EXPLORE
40" x 100"
oil, varnish and wax on panel-mounted canvas
sold

 


A MOMENT OF SOLITUDE
28" x 48"
oil, varnish and wax on canvas

 


LONG GLIDE HOME
40" x 30"
oil, varnish and wax on panel-mounted canvas
sold

 


THE GATHERING
30" x 50"
oil, varnish and wax on panel-mounted canvas

 


SHIELD
60" x 30"
oil, varnish and wax on panel-mounted canvas

 


THE MOON ONLY RAVENS CAN SEE
30" x 30"
oil, varnish and wax on panel-mounted canvas
sold

 


SEA CHANGE
30" x 30"
oil, varnish and wax on panel-mounted canvas

 


FAITHFUL
40" x 30"
oil, varnish and wax on panel-mounted canvas


LIFELINE 1
21" x 36"
oil, varnish and wax on canvas
sold


FOLLOW ME
40" x 30"
oil, varnish and wax on panel-mounted canvas


WHITE SHIELD 1
36" x 22"
oil, varnish and wax on canvas


LIELINE 2
30" x 60"
oil, varnish and wax on panel-mounted canvas


EVOLUTION
40" x 30"
oil, varnish and wax on panel-mounted canvas
sold


FOREST SPIRIT
40" x 30"
oil, varnish and wax on panel-mounted canvas
sold


HABATAKI
30" x 40"
oil, varnish and wax on panel-mounted canvas
sold

 

These close-up images show the texture of the work. Backgrounds are created with a painting squeegee and the paint formula retains the grain of the brushstroke. The work is finished with a wax and varnish mixture then a final coat of wax is applied to the stroke and hand polished. The paintings look lovely under display lighting and look even better in natural ambient light as the strokes respond to the color and direction of light, revealing their full depth.

 

 

Craig built his largest brush from nine pounds of black mane and tail hair. A bit of white mane hair left over from a previous brush-build was added for fun; turns out itís an excellent indicator of paint loading and cleaning progress.

The large brush (shown here with Craigís classic brush from Japan) is suspended from an overhead support system capable of accommodating work of up to 12 by 8 feet. Larger backgrounds are fashioned from multiple panels that can be disassembled for shipping and handling.

Proper paint loading requires mixing three gallons of paint at a time. Craig tested eight different brands of paint, then numerous mixing ratios to arrive at the final formula. It took months. The center picture shows the first stroke made with the brush, for the painting White Shield 1. Painting sessions usually last two days (depending on how many backgrounds are ready) followed by a day of brush cleaning. The picture on the right shows the first three paintings to be finished.

 


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  ©2017 Craig Kosak. All rights reserved.