“Neighbors” ©Tom Hlas 2013
Mixed Media on Wood Panel, 18 x 18 inches
My painting is an internal journey played outward. Each painting begins with a single color, a single mark, made without apprehension. Each subsequent color or mark is a direct response to its predecessor, a visual dance of cause and effect.
I was an inquisitive child. I remember my older sister frequently asking me, “Why do you ask so many questions?” To me, asking questions was a logical solution since there was so much to explore, so much I didn’t know, so much I wanted to figure out. As I reflect back, I realize this inquisitiveness has been a hallmark of my artistic journey and art making.
My abstract art is created in a cause and effect process. To start a new work, I first determine the finished size. Then, without any preconceived notion, I simply select a color and make a mark on the surface, whether that surface be canvas, wood panel or paper. Looking at that mark and color, I make another mark perhaps with the same color, perhaps with a different color. Then, I step back, look and contemplate what is missing. I continue to work in this fashion. Sometimes I work very quickly making marks and selecting colors in an almost knee jerk reaction. At other times I stand back and look carefully, meditatively, wondering what the work needs next. I know a piece is finished when I’m satisfied with it and there is nothing left to add.
Often times people ask me to tell them about my work. While being abstract, my work is really about one’s internal life. It’s about a sense of place where one can go to belong, to be at home. I guess that’s why having an experience of depth, of going into the painting, is so important to me in my art.
I find inspiration in childhood memories, family stories and my Czech heritage. I find a kinship in the abstract expressionists and color field painters of yesteryear as well as the print makers and minimal artists of today.
It is my hope that my art brings enjoyment and contentment to its viewers at a very deep level. And it’s my wish that when people look at my work in their home or office, they gain a deeper sense of themselves.
Abstract paintings on canvas, wood panel and paper utilizing acrylics, mixed media and collage.
Brought to you by Tom Hlas Studio at tomhlas.com and hlsmarketing.com