David Estey: Improvisations virtual show is now available on http://www.littlefieldgallery.com/david-estey-improvisations1.html.
“My work may seem purely improvisational, an abstract exploration of marks on a surface that justify themselves. Yet it is so much more. As a Mainer, I cannot escape the serene beauty of the snowy fields, the blue-black waters and the rugged coast; the harsh realities of life here; or the Down East sense of humor – not to mention the major issues facing humanity. They all are a visceral part of my work.
I don’t consciously intend to address those issues, they bubble up in the creative process. Although I paint with no pre-conceived notions or expected outcomes, years of extensive study and experience inevitably produce something new and surprising. I have fun using brushes, pencils, pens, putty knives, rollers and sticks to apply, remove and reapply the paint to canvas, paper or panels, sometimes adding collage. I work all the elements and principles of design to create a visually exciting whole. I love the process – the way the paint goes down, the look of thick impastos and thin glazes, the similarity to textured collagraphs and rich aquatints, the search for new forms and the emergence of intriguing narratives. I embrace the influence of Willem de Kooning and Pablo Picasso.
My finished pieces are sometimes nonrepresentational but more often, oddly narrative. Regardless, they always celebrate the rich use of color and texture or a handsome treatment of black & white and an innovative exploration of form.
In the end, I step back in wonder and think, “Wow, look at that,” often feeling changed and elevated.”