Gwen Shabka

I was recently drawn to abstract painting as a place where I could quiet the noise and the chatter and work from a place of pure gut instinct.  Having worked as a photographer for many years, I felt a need to shed all constructs and expectation, and simply let the work take me wherever it was going.  For me, abstract painting is a place where this can happen.  

Growing up in the New York area and later studying art history, I was drawn to artists like Robert Rachenberg who found beauty in discarded items he found on the street, and Jackson Pollock who created masterpieces out of pure energy and chaos. I later discovered the work of Gerhardt Richter, who described his work as 'letting the thing come, rather than creating it.'

My process is more about unearthing than creating.   I start by flooding the canvas with layers of paint over several days and then later look to extract the gems of colour, tone and texture that lay unseen just below the surface.  Like life, it can sometimes be a little messy and uncertain, and navigating through means staying the course and trusting in myself.

Thank you!

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