Updated Artist's Statement: June, 2008

Robert Everest: Stream-of-Consciousness Painting

I paint to be free. I paint to express something that I can’t hold in or keep to myself, but painting for me is deeply cathartic in a way that verbal communication could never be. It’s like a wondrous, wordless journal in which the feelings of the moment - joy, frustration, confusion, longing, depression, compassion, anger, etc. - are crystallized on canvas. In contrast to other materials I have used, canvas has just the right balance of flexibility and firmness to respond deftly to my movement, like the arms of a great Salsa-dancing partner.

The paintings and drawings I did as a child reflect my love of nature in a very realistic way, consisting mainly of landscapes and portraits. While this work is pleasing to look at, in my repertoire it has become void of depth and longevity. When I moved toward abstract art many years ago I was able to let go of the control and release my subconscious into a visible format. The beauty and simplicity in the way I paint is that there are no mistakes. This is the thrill that keeps me working - somewhere along the way I found a non-judging therapist in my creative expression.

I experience sonic freedom in marvelous excess as a full time musician, so in my unwinding I seek out silence. I truly cherish those quiet moments in my life, for in that space I experience and explore celestial infinity through painting. I start with a color, depending on my mood, and surrender to the flow of form onto the canvas. As I sit back and assess my art mid-painting, certain aspects of it catch my attention more than others – these are the parts I run with, going back and accentuating with more color, more contrast, and more definition. Virtually all of my art is created through what I call “stream-of-consciousness painting” – never knowing where I am going until I get there, “there” being a place where, during one of those times when I sit back to take stock, get perspective, and change colors, something inside me makes the urge to stop just slightly stronger than the urge to continue. That’s when I sign my name. It could take 20 minutes, it could take months or even years, but usually it’s a handful of long, intense, revealing, meditative evenings alone, in silence.

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