impasto

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Art

Impasto Marks and Thick Dabs of Paint Render Dreamy Landscapes in Rich Layers of Color

July 20, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Anastasia Trusova, shared with permission

To capture the depth of an enchanting river alcove or bucolic landscape, Russian artist Anastasia Trusova works in what she calls “textured graphic impressionism,” a unique style that expresses emotion through detail and volume. She uses a combination of palette knives and brushes to deftly layer acrylic paints into dreamy scenes: heavy impasto forms lush foliage, coiled lines shape thick clouds, and an array of smaller dabs become fields of wildflowers. “I don’t think about the rules. I paint as I feel. I add volume to highlight and emphasize something or to show something that is closer,” she says.

Trusova’s use of color is bold and often bright, and she tends to reach for a kaleidoscopic palette that makes sunsets or a river’s reflection appear fantastical. These aesthetic choices are a direct result of her studies at both the Moscow Artscool and later Moscow State Textile University, where she learned about the physics of color and how certain applications and contexts affect perceptions. “For example, the same red shade will look differently when surrounded by light green or dark blue. There we broadened our horizons, helped us fall in love with the most incredible combinations,” the Belgium-based artist says.

You can see much more of Trusova’s impressionistic paintings and dive into her process on Instagram, and shop prints and originals on her site.

 

 

 

 



Art

Red-Eyed Subjects Peer Forward in Bright, Impasto Portraits by Artist Annan Affotey

May 6, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Annan Affotey and Danny First, shared with permission

Annan Affotey has an affinity for bold, bright colors that set his subjects apart from the negative space framing their figures. Through gestural strokes that sweep across the canvas, the Ghanaian artist renders intimate portraits of his friends, family members, and the occasional public figure who, through distinctly red eyes, look directly at the viewer, a decision that’s both aesthetic and cultural.

“When I moved to the U.S. from Ghana, I was often questioned why my eyes were red and whether it meant I hadn’t slept or was doing drugs, neither of which was true. And it became a symbol for misinterpreted identities,” he says. That experience was complicated further by cultural expectations, which Affotey explains to Colossal:

I want the subject to have a direct conversation with the viewer, something I couldn’t do myself a few years ago. I am a shy person and when I first moved to the United States I would often look down when talking with people. In Ghana, looking down indicates shyness or respect. After being in the U.S. for a while, I finally came out of my shell and became more accustomed to looking people directly in the eye.

Currently living and working in Oxford, the artist prefers to surround his subjects with impasto strokes because of the liveliness they generate beyond the figures’ expressions. “I use textures in my paintings for several reasons. One reason is to portray energy or emotion centered around my subject,” he says. “I (also) use many textures so that people who can’t see will still have the opportunity to feel the canvas, brush strokes and feel a story from that.”

If you’re in London, you can see a collection of Affotey’s vibrant paintings at Ronchini Gallery through June 18. Otherwise, follow him on Instagram to keep up with his latest works.

 

 

 



Art

Fantastical Atmospheres Are Rendered with Dark Impasto Strokes in Digital Paintings by RHADS

February 4, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Continuation of the Dream.” All images © Artem Chebokha, shared with permission

Impasto strokes in deep shades of blue and gray form the volatile environments that backdrop Artem Chebokha’s surreal works. The Saint Petersburg-based artist, who uses the moniker RHADS, mimics the texture of oil paint in his digital pieces. Situated within heavy clouds and pockets of lightning, elements of unusual scale, like minuscule airplanes or an oversized octopus, create otherworldly atmospheres filled with unpredictable weather and open expanses.

Prints of Chebokha’s dreamy paintings are available on Society6. Head to Instagram to see a larger collection of his pieces, including a 3D shot of the work above, and keep an eye out for his upcoming project that merges art and music. (via Cross Connect Magazine)

 

“A Great Storm Approaching”

“City of Love”

“Floating in the Dark”

“Octosoup”

“The Longing to Air Trips”

 

 



Art

Impasto-Style Brushstrokes Hover Mid-Air in Illustrative Murals by Sean Yoro

March 4, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Sean Yoro

Hawaii-born artist Sean Yoro (previously), aka Hula, pairs his illustrative murals of partial figures with bold brushstrokes that hover along building walls. Part of his Undertones series, the monochromatic pieces often feature singular hands and torsos as they reach toward or attempt to grasp the impasto-style strokes.

One especially illusory piece forgoes the bodily element and instead focuses on a singular blue stroke that seems to float through the air and cast a shadow on the brick wall behind it. “Each large scale brushstroke represents the unique passions we all hold within and what we can do with that energy once we tap into it,” said a statement on the artist’s site.

Yoro is one half of Kapu Collective, a collaborative art-and-design group concerned with environmental issues and sustainability, that he formed with his twin brother. Smaller versions of Yoro’s works are available in the collective’s shop. If you want to see the process behind some of his stylized projects, head to Instagram.

 

 



Art

Bold Outlines Delineate Expressive Portraits by Agnes Grochulska

March 2, 2020

Grace Ebert

Oil on canvas, 17 x 19 inches. All images © Agnes Grochulska, shared with permission

Agnes Grochulska imbues her portraits with various emotions but leaves room for the viewer to determine which ones, preferring to create works “in which not everything is fully realized.” In The Outline Series, the Virginia-based artist uses impasto strokes to capture the distinct facial features of her characters, while drawing less attention to the rest of their figures. She finishes each portrait with a bold outline, adding bits of the vibrant blues, purples, and yellows to highlight portions of the face and neck.

While my work is anchored in representation, I try to not only focus on depicting the details of my subject but also try to capture the emotion—the essence of it. That particular ‘something’ that drew me to that subject in the first moment… There is a moment when I look at the painting and feel the emotion is there. This is the moment to step aside and realize the painting is finished.

Grochulska tells Colossal that the outline colors are intuitive and that she chooses them near the end of each piece, often gravitating toward one that either directly compliments or contrasts the rest of the work. “The outline acts as a metaphor here… It also represents the contemporary aspect of the painting in its bold and vibrant expressive character,” she says. “My hope is that the abstract form of the outline adds an emotional weight and highlights the human subject by drawing attention to the portrayed face they frame.” You can find more of the artist’s lively portraits on Instagram.

Oil on canvas, 17 x 19 inches

Oil on canvas, 12 x 12 inches

“Yellow Outline,” oil on canvas, 14 x 14 inches

“Yellow Outline,” oil on canvas, 14 x 14 inches

“Red Specs,” oil on canvas, 16 x 16 inches

 

 



Art

Impasto Oil Paintings by Li Songsong Explore Historical Events as Cultural Artifacts

November 1, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Civil Rather than Military” (2018), oil on canvas, 82-11/16 × 102-3/8 inches © Li Songsong, courtesy Pace Gallery

Li Songsong uses dramatic textural repetition to create portraiture and landscapes in his large-scale oil paintings. The Chinese artist often centers visual narratives around historical events of the 20th century, working from found photographs and news images. In some instances, the story becomes more personal, as in “Civil Rather Than Military”, which depicts Songsong’s grandfather. In a statement about the work provided by Pace Gallery, Songsong shared:

I started this painting a month after my grandfather passed away. It’s from a photograph of him that I think was taken in the early1960s, when he was about my current age. I know what kind of person he was, but not until this year was I really willing to think deeply about him. I used a technique in which it is nearly impossible to paint delicate details, but in the end, the work still ended up with lots of expressive detail and an almost idealized quality, as if from a fairy-tale.

In both his intimate and anonymous paintings, Songsong balances content with process, employing tactile techniques that obscure the subject and emphasize the painting as an object or artifact in and of itself. Take a closer look at Songsong’s work in his solo show “One of My Ancestors”, on view through December 21, 2019 at Pace Gallery in New York City. You can also explore more of the artist’s work on the gallery’s website.

“Civil Rather than Military” detail

“Tempest” (2019), oil on canvas, 10′ 2 1/16 × 12′ 5 5/8 inches © Li Songsong, courtesy Pace Gallery

“South” (2017), oil on canvas, 10′ 9-15/16 x 8’ 6-3/8 inches © Li Songsong, courtesy Pace Gallery

Pace Gallery installation view

“My Homeland” (2004), oil on canvas, 82-2/3 x 165-1/3 inches © Li Songsong

“Taoyuan Airport” (2008) © Li Songsong

“Dog Walking (II)” (2015), oil on aluminum panel, 94-1/2 × 13′ 1-1/2 × 4-15/16 inches © Li Songsong, courtesy Pace Gallery