Abstract Art: Untitled #7, 36×24″(2012)

This is a painting I originally completed around 2010.  The geometric shapes you see were a part of the original painting.  Yet, the colors presently on the canvas, specifically the blues were not a part of the original composition.  Initially the painting had more earthy color combinations, some browns, yellows, and greens. The grayish whites in the upper and bottom corners are the only original colors from 2010.  I always loved the placement of the shapes but those initial earthier color choices never really spoke to me.  With that, the painting languished in my garage studio.

In 2012, I was afforded the opportunity for my first public show.  The gallery was called “Third Degree Glass Factory.   As the name can attest, the place deals more with blown glass art work.  In the front half of the building there is a rather large gallery space.  Each month they use that space to show non-glass art work.  On every third Friday of the month they have a free open house to start an artist’s show.   This was how my wife and I came to learn about the place.

At the end of 2011, unbeknownst to me, my wife sent the owner some pictures of my work inquiring about the possibility that I might show there.  Friends and family had been encouraging me to go public with my work, but I was always a bit reluctant.  You see I am more of a self-taught painter.  I took some art classes in High School, but nothing beyond that in terms of training.   I started painting in earnest around 2007, so my confidence as an artist was still developing.   Clearly, my wife had greater confidence in me as a painter than I did of myself.  That’s still a bit true today.  I paint for myself, and what pleases my eye.  Because, I came to painting later in life in a non traditional way there are still times when I feel like a bit of an imposter, but I have digressed.

My show was scheduled for July of 2012, and because of the size of the space I felt I needed a few more pieces.  So, I revisited this painting attacking it with blues. If you exam a number of my paintings you will see I am drawn to blues.   I frequently have to resist the temptation of using blue.  Blues are probably my safety net in painting.  I say everything thing looks better in blue (try it). I find peace in blues. It permeates my life.  I often dress in blues, the majority of cars I have owned were blue.  Blues speak to me, so when I experimented with the application of blues in this previous completed painting, it finally felt complete to me…2 years later.

Obviously, some would see a Mondrian influence here, but as an artist lacking a formal training, raised in the 70s, I could equally argue there in an influence from the bus on “The Partridge Family.”  In actuality, I think much of my interest toying with geometric shapes of color is tied to my more structuralist approach to viewing the world around me.  As a sociologist, I am drawn to an exploration of the patterns to social life.  I believe I have always had this knack of thinking and looking at things more systemically.  It is why I was drawn to sociological thought and now it manifests itself occasionally in my paintings.

Kent Bausman


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