Roberts Gallery Blog

Roberts Gallery Blog

David Marshak – Boundless

David Marshak – Boundless

“This body of work represents the last two years of exploration and development of a single notion. The idea was simply to paint a series of cloud ‘portraits.’ I wanted to focus on the ever present beauty and endless variety of clouds and fill the gallery with the results. I had been painting a fair bit of high detail urban work and felt the need to switch to more organic compositions, devoid of perfect straight lines.

I began with several iterations of horizon-less cloud pieces, working through ideas of composition and value gradients, trying to portray light in its most ephemeral form. I then saw an American painter whose work I felt inspired by and with whom I participated in a workshop; working through various techniques and approaches to help me shake up familiar routines, and rely less on photo reference. The workshop proved to be very catalytic and I completed several dozen small works on canvas paper in between working on larger, photo based studio pieces.

The smaller, looser works informed the larger and more controlled pieces and vice versa. A balance and a work flow emerged and I felt refreshed and appropriately challenged by the constant change-up of technique…These pieces are on canvas paper and were done in batches of nine at a time (which is how many compositions I could fit on a large piece of canvas paper). They are done without photo reference, which implies a whole new process of iterative invention and refinement through several passes or layers – allowing the piece to dry and then reapplying paint with increasing chromatic intensity and constant adjustment of value and tone. I called these pieces ‘Transitions.’

Many of the larger ‘cloud portraits’ do not contain a horizon. I wanted these pieces to lend themselves to being redolent of looking up on a summers day and losing oneself in thought while transfixed by the temporary, fleeting yet also eternal beauty of a cloud. I called these pieces ‘Boundless’ because of that endless potential for an aesthetic that has inspired artists and poets for millennia.

There are also several road pieces, which I included as a grounding contrast – providing some built in and familiar narrative. So often one needs to remind oneself while driving to have eyes on the road and not be entirely distracted by changing weather and shifting clouds. And also in life we must redirect our attention to important day to day matters and not be lost in thought, appreciating the wonders of nature but still navigating the human experience.”

David Marshak