Each component added is like a revelation, revealing something that wasn’t as defined as before—the hull of a boat, a bird’s wing, the shadow’s edge. Sometimes I walk back and forth from my easel after each piece, carefully observing how the painting changes from a distance.
The result of this work is similar to palette knife oil paintings. Parallel with distinct planes of color and various shapes layered over each other. For Kohler, the paper’s advantage is the workability, clarity of color, and the ability to work in small areas without the risk of the muddiness that can sometimes come with an oil painting.
“Some would argue that a painting, just by being a painting, is automatically abstracted to a small degree, no matter how hyper-realistic it is. My work falls on the abstraction scale somewhere, sure, but where doesn’t matter to me.”
Ryan Kohler is one of the newest artists to join Maine Art Hill. In just a few years he has established a serious following. Clients come from all over to see his newest works, and they rarely stay with us long before we are shipping them off to their forever homes.
I’ve had great luck with just acrylic paintings over the years, and there’s nothing wrong with just stopping there, but I am always looking for ways to spice up my process, and incorporate new techniques to push my paintings into new territory.
“My work falls on the abstraction scale somewhere, sure, but where doesn’t matter to me. Tasteful expression matters to me.”
“As a general theme, I have been thinking about the fun side of isolation and all the hidden or guarded spaces that exist,” shares Kohler. “Treehouses in the woods, hidden beaches, or even personal watercraft. These are places to be alone and reflect.”
“I had previously hinted at the spots of a deer leaping right off its body, but I embraced that idea with this painting,” shares Kohler. “Energetic swoops of red and orange paint slide easily off her backside, and her white spots intuitively transform into fun paint splatters that dazzle the eye in a confetti-like fashion. Bits of solid, traditional painting mixed with fun and tasteful abstraction is always what I’m striving for, and this one, to me, is right on the money.”
The first layer or two of his current work is acrylic. He works quickly and easily. It comes naturally. Once the painting is in a “good place”, he switches to oils and continues building texture, adding and removing loosely applied layers of color before finally defining focal points of the painting with crisp, graphic lines. The end result being something different and interesting.
Maine artist Ryan Kohler shares his thoughts on All This Is Ours, his Artist Choice, and a new piece for the 9th Annual Choice Art Show on Maine Art Hill in Kennebunk, Maine.