TALKING ART WITH KIM ABRAHAM

Talking Art is a quick artist interview. We asked Kim Abraham 5 questions to help you get to know him and his art.

Abraham

Who you are, where you are from and what kind of art do you create?

After living in the east, west, north and south, I have always been fascinated with the concept of place, and have most often chased the notion of landscape. My painting has evolved to express a nod towards what is hidden and ephemeral both underneath our feet and above our heads-those tiny micro and macro infinite places. Since the earlier days in my native South, I have studied and painted trees, water, clouds, rocks, sticks, bugs, stars, and everything else encountered as we walk through our day to try to get at something that stirs me. I sense an extra dimension in shapes that wiggle around each other and by each other defying or defining depth and scale as I paint through my vision of reality. These visions lately have lost any sense of gravity and I am playing with the notion of stars and space with insects and microbes to explore my own universe in the studio.

What is your favorite piece of art that you have done?

Favorite piece -That is a trick question as there is no such thing for me. Perhaps a piece that I keep looking into and listening to is “FishTale” done recently. Oil on Linen.

Show & Tell us about your workspace and the tools you use. (brushes, charcoal, steel, lasers?)

My place to think-my studio is not large, but is cozy and chaotic. I work with different mediums, but mostly oils-I love the smell. I also use only linen-beautiful stuff. I often use most anything that can make a mark and prefer invented tools. Although I do like to use large flat handle soft bristle brushes, I have forsaken all the rules about large brushwork, and use many small brushes that allow my painting to feel like I am also drawing. No hard bristle-only sable and soft hair brushes. I have a series of handmade scribes I use to draw into the paint. I have many knives that I may paint with, and my favorite tool next to my painting wall is an ancient Swedish collapsible knife that I use for everything. I have three large pallet surfaces with tools, oils, brushes and tubes of paint stacked everywhere with no real order, and I reach for what I need.

What are you working on right now?

Right now I have just stretched and begun another larger scale oil on linen. I have abandoned most of what I learned about process in art school and the methods I now work with involve layers and staging. The photo of my painting wall shows this new work process in an early stage-this painting will look nothing like this eventually. You see the base color layer first with second color and field of characters just beginning. I work with other layers later that also include a kind of stellar field with many layers of color, determined as the painting progresses. I often concentrate on competing color temperature contrasts. I become lost in the complexity of the image as I would in some mysterious otherworld place, and the challenge is in loosing and re-gaining some kind of control in the painting.

What is your favorite piece of art from another artist?

Favorite work from another artist…too many come to mind, but two I have always loved are the fifteenth century “The Virgin and Child With Chancellor Rolin” by Van Eyck, and a particular early nineteenth century Corot, “The Bridge at Narni”. Both are in the Louvre.

Corot Rolin

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