Bobby Coleman
I paint to create. I paint to build. I paint to make something that I want to see in the world. The symbols, shapes, marks and colors I use stem from a wide array of places; a road sign, a doodle in my sketchbook, a building, or the color scheme of graffiti on dilapidated building. All the things I take in become stored and eventually work themselves into my lexicon of visual vocabulary. The initial marks that I make in a painting start off simple, but then begin to build in complexity. Each mark and layer is a direct reaction to its predecessor.

Developing a painting while being cognizant of its recent history is what I love most about the act of painting. In life, a person’s past immensely affects the present, and I bring this idea into my paintings. Allowing earlier marks to have more emphasis then later marks. Cutting away pieces of the wood panel. Taking away things I have grown to dislike in the painting and drawing focus to the parts I do like. This all serves to show a painting’s evolution. I also enjoy the way marks can be enhanced or diminished by combining them with certain colors, utilizing contrasts and harmonies in hue, value, and saturation. I strive for my shapes to have a familiar, universality to them, yet at the same time look starkly foreign. I like for them to look as if they could exist somewhere around us, but remain unrecognizable. Allowing each painting to develop in this process oriented, evolutionary fashion, without the aid of preliminary sketches, keeps each painting fresh and vital. Using, re-using and manipulating a visual vocabulary of marks and shapes that develop from this process keeps each painting relative, but evolving.