Acrylic on canvas with some collage
24" x 48"
© Barry Treu
I obviously have an attraction to geometric shapes and their placement. However a most important part of my processis observing the happenstance partnering of visual elements in the world around me. For instance, behind the city center theater many dismantled prop pieces are placed next to or overlapping each other, leaning against a wall. They are put there without regard for the color, shape or design and how they may appear aesthetically. I find this most enticing. The compositions that come “willy-nilly” … of course my eye does choose ... seem so refreshing compared to thought out arrangements. This coincidence of elements seems akin to the wildness of nature, or for that matter, the diverse structures of most cities that just happen to be next to each other. The same wild, aesthetic confluence occurs from some workman just doing his job of cleaning out the prop room, the debris of a building site, or how things are tossed in a dumpster.
I use photos of these and other sources to begin. I draw into them or make sketches inspired by them.This quickly moves into the intuitive after the initial charcoal sketch on canvas.
Through the accumulation of paint, via trial and error and conscious choice, the development of
textures expressing the rough messy nature of growth begins to appear. With the contrasting elements of curves, angles, visible and obscured lines, I arrive at a work which becomes an object unto itself with evidence of the process of its construction. I work with palette knives, putty knives, and other plastering and painting tools found at the hardware store - rarely a brush. This satisfies the desire in me to be building or constructing something out of the remnants of the original sources.
What happens in the larger areas with a slurry of paint or an edge of one slightly different shade of color next to another is a challenge to bring nearly indistinguishable differences together.