A painting is seen by the eyes and the mind, but it faces the body. My most recent works explore the tension between painting as window and painting as object. I want the paintings to push and pull, to “feel” like inert colored mud but to open onto a vision that conveys movement and distance and atmosphere.

Since this spring’s pandemic lockdown, I have painted scenes derived from sketches of urban parks. I turned to parks because they were at hand, but also because they allowed me to retreat, psychologically, from the dispiriting grids and geometries of the city. Of course, though it allows for a sense of nature and escape, of privacy and isolation, a park is an artificial construction, made by people and used by them. In this way, a park is much like a painting.

I choose to paint because the slow drying time of oil, a six-hundred-year-old medium, encourages me to think and react in a deliberate and thoughtful manner. I am interested in making slow paintings that shift and move, paintings that reveal themselves in time as the viewer’s eye flits across the surface.

All images copyright Andrew L. Shea, 2022. All rights reserved.
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