Featured Artists

October: Michael Scotko and Ken Karlic

Michael Scotko

Give a brief description of your upcoming show. And what might have inspired it.
This collection of pastel paintings portrays the landscapes I’ve photographed during my bicycle rides through the Pennsylvania and New Jersey countryside over the last year.
How have you expanded existing themes/ideas for which you are best known/or if this body of work is a great deviation from your norm, what inspired this new approach? 
I’ve continued to explore the creative and expressive qualities of the pastel medium. Inspired by impressionist palette knife paintings, I try to capture the mood and light of the landscape without sweating the details.
Stylistically and/or technically, what do you hope collectors notice in your new work?
Working on hand-textured paper allows random brush marks appear as the pastel is applied over it. Starting from a reference photo, the initial composition is quickly sketched with a hard dark pastel. I then step back observe the resulting scene. No longer working from the photo, I’ll then explore and develop the details.
Add any additional info that might interest the viewer.
Like riding into an unknown landscape, the pastels come into view over time, building a painting that is somewhat controlled by me but mostly revealed by the process itself.

Ken Karlic

Give a brief description of your upcoming show. And what might have inspired it.

I paint with a sense of urgency and passion that is more about capturing the essence of subjects than the specifics of the location. My main objective is in expressing how something feels rather than how it looks, and in the sheer physicality of a subject captured in a sheer physicality of paint.

How have you expanded existing themes/ideas for which you are best known/or if this body of work is a great deviation from your norm, what inspired this new approach?

The character of various types of structure and architecture is extremely vital in my work, and I’m interested in exploring these forms as vehicles for light and shadow. My watercolors can best be described as sophisticated chaos—I design and build my work with pure geometry and interpret it in a painterly fashion. My paintings have a basis in the representational, but often dissolve into some level of abstraction. Surprises are not only welcomed, but also invited, as marks, scratches, drips, and splatters all become part of the final piece. On location or in the studio, I typically work fast with a sense of urgency, and ultimately enjoy the contrast of painting quickly while creating a piece to be experienced slowly.

Stylistically and/or technically, what do you hope collectors notice in your new work?

I may begin in a traditional way of drawing the outlines of important shapes, and then gradually building up layers of transparent color over a bright white paper surface. Once I’m deep into the painting, I consider almost any way of bringing an image into existence. I might add and subtract paint by spraying clear water to rewet colors and lift them off the paper. At the same time, I might drop opaque colors onto the damp surface and let the edges blur as the paint is absorbed into the fibers of the paper. If I need to, I’ll use my brushes to scrub the surface, or my fingers to smear areas. I usually paint across the entire surface of the paper while it is damp and then adjust the paint application as parts of the paper dry. No two paintings develop in the same way because I respond to each image as it is taking shape. Surprises are not only welcomed, but invited, as marks, scratches, drips, and splatters all become part of the final piece.

Add any additional info that might interest the viewer.

For over 20 years, I primarily painted en plein air. I recently began creating studio paintings in order to refine and expand upon my vision. Working from sketches, notes, memory and photos, I work in a way that maintains the energy of my plein air pieces—plein air and studio work fuel each other. Except for the differences in sizes, I don’t want observers to immediately know whether a painting was created in the studio or on location. I want all my paintings to express my voice as a painter.