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Artists Statement - Abstract Paintings

Darrol Shillingburg, Artist
5485 Mirasol
Las Cruces, NM 88007
Voice: 505/526-3500

My abstract paintings are done entirely in the studio - although much of the inquiry and inspiration are born in nature. As a way of exploring a deeper inquiry into landscape, I began (a couple of years ago), experimenting with painting on a grid, a physical three dimensional grid of string gessoed onto stretched canvas.

The idea evolved from a desire to incorporate a geometry into my landscape paintings - but to do it "differently". Not as "painted geometry", but as something physical that would change with the "light", something that would mimic the subtly of my visual perception of nature.

Because it is dimensional and layered, each "painted space" responds to the direction, intensity, temperature and movement of the light around it. The painting is always the same, but never exactly the same - like nature, from moment to moment it changes.

There may not be enough "picture" to satisfy you - not enough recognizable form that you can identify. Instead, each "painted space" requires your time and attention. It requires inquiry and listening, openness and neutrality, perhaps even "boredom". It may require more participation than interests you.

Most people who see the paintings wonder what they are about, but find not enough to hold on to. I tell them, "the paintings are about the subtleness of light in space and its effects on seeing and feeling". They are first of all paintings, then pictures. Each painting is a different inquiry, a different experiment with paint, light and perception.

If you would like to know more - I have written some thoughts about each painting so the exploration can continue. They are available on the web at


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