Sheila Grabarsky is known for her bold, gestural nature scenes. Her fluid paintings have been compared to those of Vasily Kandinsky, the Russian painter and art theorist referred to as the father of abstraction. And, like Kandinsky, the essence of inner beauty and the potency of the human spirit are key factors in her art. Sheila's art carries an air of spontaneity, however, the work develops in many layers and takes a long time to come together. "I search for evolving forms within the composition, look for 'eye flow' and use my color intuition," she explains. "This is the mystery I love about abstraction - always evolving and birthing itself." Sheila draws energy and inspiration from living near water, and says she rarely travels because she does not like to be away from painting. In her studio, she is usually accompanied by three animal friends and an eclectic playlist of Janis Joplin, blues, reggae and classical. In 2016, Sheila's art was featured in the movie American Pastoral, starring Ewan McGregor and Dakota Fanning.
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About The Artist
As a small child - third grade, to be exact - I painted a watercolor sun into a sky and CREATED A COLOR! I was amazed at how simply I could generate a new color that wasn’t there before. I remain awe-struck, still, at this constant new discovery of color creation and juxtaposition. Because I am a colorist I have a great need to present to the world what color can do.
My work is also about introspection — spiritual, psychological, soul-searching. If only to look inside, look at my work. It would be good for the viewer to be still and accept her/his personal freedom of interpretation.
My process is one of "reduction"; painting until the canvas is over-full of movement and connections (as I see the world's confusion) then obliterating that world-chaos - removing extraneous marks - until the work and the discovery become a complete and orderly composition, as I would love the world to be; composed, organized. I am excited by the evolution of shapes and the discovery of how movement impacts each of these shapes to become cohesive.
Channeling the "process" rather than focusing on "product" wrenches the visceral truth(s). Finishing touches and fine-tuning soften the blow. For me, there is much listening to authentic intuitiveness with abstraction (and, it always requires music). Lately I have been exploring a new technique of "drawing" with dried acrylic "skins" (residues) that are adhered to the canvas just because they are so beautiful I cannot bear to destroy them.
As in all art, my work reflects my personal domain, reflection and history. Lightness and joy are new to my paintings - previous works were usually forebodingly dark portraits based on German Expressionism. What remains pure and consistent is coloration and intensity.
I see abstraction everywhere - in nature, in architecture, in my mind’s eye. Look at a window - study each individual pane and you just might see an infinite number of exciting compositions of line, color, dimension, perspective and form, as I do.