Copyright Jay Etkin Gallery, 2007 Allrights reserved

Richard Knowles

"In the 1980's I became interested in aerial views -- abstract paintings that reflect the movement and variety of forms of the earths surface (sometimes other planets). My daughter Amy majored in geology at Wyoming and sent me charts, photos, and other imagery she was studying. Soon after, while teaching a workshop at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, I chartered a small plane and photographed glaciers from the air. I've also studied some of the Corps of Engineer charts of the Mississippi, and I continue to collect contour maps of areas that I visit. Another theme from the 80's were figures in water. Those images which concentrated on the distortions caused by defractions of the body in water were shown in the traveling group exhibition, "Ten in Tennessee", organized by the Cheekwood Museum, Knoxville.

My newer work combines aerial views and landscape studies from wilderness areas. The technique I use involves flowing and scraping acrylic paint on the surface followed by organizing the "accidental" forms and textures into coherent compositions. I allow the paint to form by itself as much as possible, only minimally applying brush work and controlling the composition. That way I retain some of the wild energies and complex forms and colors of unexploited wilderness areas.