Donald Cronkhite

Allen Park MI

Grey Series No.16
Artist Statement
The selected group of digital images in this packet represents a body of work that I started in 2004 and continued to present. Mainly influenced by 17th century Dutch painting and early to mid 20th century modern art, I found myself irresistibly drawn to my current subject when I realized that something so familiar could present me with so many creative opportunities and challenges. Primarily focusing on the sky in the moments just prior to a storm, when the cloud formations are at their peak volume, affords me the opportunity to explore color, contrast, and form simultaneously. As a painter, I’m interested in capturing both the representative and non-representative aspects of this subject in my work. Color, contrast, form and scale are inseparable in communicating my emotional experience to the viewer in sort of an “enhanced reality.” The variations in abstract forms, vibrant and saturated hues, help convey a sense of realism and imagination blended together in my painting. The scale of these canvases, filling one’s peripheral vision, are intended to envelop the viewer with a sense of movement and kinetic energy, especially with my larger-than-human scale paintings. I consider scale to be of vital importance in my work, as it speaks almost as much about the subject as the paint. For the most part, I decided to abandoned conventional titles for my painting, in favor of a numbered series, such as Amber Series No. 2 or Gray Series No.18, to identify one work from another. I find that descriptive titles can be trite and are distracting to the viewer. I’ve learned that people experience my paintings differently. Where some see nature’s fury, others see beauty; where some see darkness, others find spirituality. I want the viewer to be free to experience my paintings without being told my personal take on the matter.