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Sheila Grabarsky recently had seven paintings appear in the Hollywood movie American Pastoral and participated in Art Santa Fe. She was interviewed for “A Night In The Art Gallery” on NJDiscover cable TV and wrote a published back cover testimonial for a book of art/poetry entitled Leaves of Absence by Sally Brown Deskins, published in February 2016 and is included in an upcoming book by Tova Navarra entitled, New Jersey Masters: A New Legacy of Visual Art. Sheila is a seasoned, classically trained, international award-winning artist who has worked and exhibited across the U.S. for over 25 years in corporate, educational, commercial, and healthcare venues as well as museums and online. Her work is in numerous private and public collections and is currently represented by William Ris Gallery, Stone Harbor, NJ, Beauregard Fine Art, Rumson, NJ, Boxheart Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA, ArtWorks Gallery, Cedar City, UT and UGallery.com.
“Color creation is very exciting. As a small child I painted a yellow watercolor sun into a blue sky and was thrilled to have accidentally created green, which hadn’t been there before! I remain awestruck, still, at color creation.”
Classically trained at Syracuse University, Sheila’s work evolved from dark and foreboding expressionistic portraits into gestural, happy abstractions. “I do not have a preconceived notion as I approach my easel. I work in multicolored, multitextured layers. Lately I’ve been adhering dried skins of acrylic residue off my palette, as I find them incredibly beautiful and inspiring. Watching as forms literally present themselves as foreground is an amazing experience, always requiring hours of concentrated studio time. I am fascinated by the discovery and the mystery of harnessing chaos into a cohesive composition.
I paint because I bleed Alizarin Crimson.
As a small child – third grade, to be exact – I painted a watercolor sun into a sky and CREATED A COLOR! I was amazed at how simply I could generate a new color that wasn’t there before. I remain awe-struck, still, at this always-new discovery of color creation and juxtaposition. Because I am a colorist I have a great need to present to the world what color can do.
My work is also about introspection — spiritual, psychological, soul-searching. If only to look inside, look at my work. It would be good for the viewer to be still and accept her/his personal freedom of interpretation.
My process is one of “reduction”; painting till the canvas is over-full of movement and connections (as I see the world’s confusion) then obliterating that world-chaos – removing extraneous marks – until the work and the discovery become a complete and orderly composition. As I would love the world to be; composed, organized. I am excited by the evolution of shapes and the discovery of how movement impacts each of these shapes to become cohesive.
Channeling the “process” rather than focusing on “product” wrenches the visceral truth(s). Finishing touches and fine tuning soften the blow. For me, there is much listening to authentic intuitiveness with abstraction (and, it always requires music). Lately I have been exploring a new technique of “drawing” with dried acrylic “skins” (residues) that are adhered to the canvas just because they are so beautiful I cannot bear to destroy them.