Why and How I Paint

 

I began painting after careers as a college teacher of Russian Affairs and then as an analyst for the US State Department.  When I began painting it was a revelation to move from the rational left side of the brain to the intuitive right side. From the start my art has sprung from a passion for the color and the light that I see in nature and the man-made environment, filtered through my imagination.  Although I never set out “to paint a scene,” my travel in Mexico, Spain, India, Iceland, Arizona, and Hawaii-- along with the rural environs of Philadelphia where I have lived-- have inspired my recent work.  My paintings start with a color pallet. I love opposites—the interaction of hot and cool colors; but I also love contiguous colors on the color wheel, as well as the tints and shades of all of these. I like to mix and merge pigments, creating colors new to me and to others. Use of light is important in creating another dimension in the work; if dark conveys mystery and ambiguity, light passages convey discovery. The exposed layers of paint often indicate the path my creative process has taken, and there is no reason to cover all the tracks. I rarely plan a composition; rather I let it evolve in a way that pleases my eye or creates an effect I desire. Accident is an important ingredient in my work; authentic painting requires keeping free to let the unexpected happen. When people ask me what is the meaning of a painting, I tell them it is in the pleasure, surprise, excitement, peace, or mystery that I experience and want to share.

 

Education

  1963              Rockford College, BA, History and Political Science

  1975              Princeton University, PhD, Politics

 

Art Training 

  2002, 2004    Alexandria (VA) Art League School with Marcia Staiger

  2005-09        The Arts (Stockton, NJ) with Pat Martin

  2007, 2008    Bucks County Community College with Karen Baumeister

  2011              Tim Hawkesworth Workshop, Norristown, PA

  2012-14         The Drawing Studio with Josh Goldberg, Tucson AZ

 

 

 

Contact me:  roberthansenart@gmail.com