May 2022: Reed Clarke - Oil Painting

“I am both a painter and printmaker who seeks to create a flow of figurative images with both subtle and overt narratives. On the one hand, my compositions portray people in order to show their unique presence, but also to somehow allude to the underlying mystery of what it means to be human. Faces and figures inhabit all my paintings and when I try to stray from this subject something I can’t resist calls me back. I feel a tension when I paint between the desire to capture the subject’s humanness and at the same time wrestle with the painting process itself, for it seems to me a good painting is much more than a literal representation of its subject. Once a painting is begun I’m soon lost in the actual process of discovering the interplay of color, line, volume, value and other visual challenges that must be dealt with before the painting begins to move towards a resolution. I am interested in the abstract elements of a painting that so to speak may be hidden in plain sight. In the end, I’m striving for a balance between a composition that includes a human subject that is compelling and a paint surface that engages the viewer.”