October Artist of the Month – David Zimmerman
I like to paint ideas as they develop and often use different styles to express myself. The life that goes on around me, the places I’ve been, or the times I’ve lived through are reflected in my paintings, and have always helped me refine my understanding of myself, and provided an outlet for expression. As a representational artist I have blended the line between fine art and illustration, and would like to believe that my work serves as a dialog between historical artists, my contemporaries and me.
Usually I start a composition with a fairly well defined mental picture of what the finished piece should look like, and proceed in the structured traditional methods of painting. Since I am primarily interested in depicting the aspects of light and how it affects color, it is not until the final applications I try to interact with the materials in a spontaneous way. It is not unusual in the course of working that I remove more paint than I leave on the canvas.
Currently my work is divided into two styles; In my approach to painting as a tonalist, I employ a neutral imprimatura and create a structured underpainting, much like a a photograph. While this is a slower method, it allows the purity of the pigments to show through in the topcoats and veils of glazed colors, and crafts a more controlled and detailed composition. I also paint alla prima (directly) using painting knives and heavy impasto, and like to build up colors for a more visceral experience. I love the impressionists use of scumbling and broken color, and always look for the beauty inherent in the materials. As artists we are so gifted to have the universe of prepared paints and mediums available without having to create them every time we want to paint, and I love the freedom of having these materials right at hand. We all benefit from the unseen masters who have not only devoted their lives to bring us these conveniences, but always strive to improve them.