For many years, up to and including the present time, the production of works of visual art form my primary creative outlet. I have always taken a serious and studious view of artists of various disciplines, in particular visual art, musical composition and performance, and written arts, mainly non-fiction and poetry. I greatly enjoy and am inspired by the work of particular visual and musical artists, and by what is written about these artists and their work.
The main work that I am doing now is acrylic painting on canvas, though I also produce drawings, watercolors, and occasionally, sculpture. I consider drawing as the basis of all my creative activity. I use as source material direct observation, my imagination, and photographs that I have taken. These sources often overlap and collectively drive, influence and underpin individual works in ways that the creative process reveals as it develops and unfolds. When I work in the studio, I usually choose to have recorded music playing concurrently. This serves to both free and fuel my mind, body, and spirit as I engage in the unique sphere of creative activity.
I have always been able to draw pretty well, and drawing usually starts and continues to underpin everything else that I do, whether in line or gesture or both. And this applies to 3 dimensional work as well. Drawing provides the structure that I must have and also invests my gestural markings with form. For example, many of the paintings that I am working on currently play drawn and brushed marks against and in cooperation with one another. For me, this dichotomy expresses and abstractly reproduces much of the richness of visual experience. Back and forth, broadness and specificity thrust and parry, imparting an aura (I hope) of things seen, sensed, and imagined. Music is a crucial partner in this bifurcated process, whether heard outwardly or inwardly, at length or from a single sound or note. In truth, art and music in tandem are at the core of my artistic sensibilities, and when in their intertwined thrall, I am simply ecstatic and usually at my most imaginatively creative and bold.
I was fortunate to have experienced several influential and helpful instructors in studio art and art history during my college years, and they informed and nurtured my notions of visual art and of visual art theory. The professors who influenced me the most were (in alphabetical order) Peter Agostini, Walter Barker, Ben Berns, Bert Carpenter, Bruce Gagnier, Carl Goldstein, Andrew Martin, and Jonathan Silver. Each was, in his own way, gifted, extremely competent, and thought inducing. I learned something from each of them, and now, 45 years later, things they taught and said, as well as certain works they produced, still pose vivid reminders, reassurances, and warnings for me as a grateful practitioner in our particular discipline.
I wish to say in conclusion, that I nearly always begin my sessions in the studio with a prayer to God, for the strength and courage to do as He would have me, in the midst of and throughout my work activity. When I am done, whatever the result (real, perceived or imagined), I thank God for His presence, guidance and abiding love, in this and in all things. God has given me a wonderful gift, and I am bound to express my deepest appreciation to Him, through the humble creation of visual works of art. His glory, not mine, be done.
Philip Anthony Link
January 27, 2017