Patrick Kochanasz

I grew up in Eastern Pennsylvania, where I studied at the Baum School of Art for several years. During that time I began to consider what I wanted my own individual style of art to be. I became captivated by the great Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painters of the 19th Century – men like Monet, Renoir, Degas, Seurat, C├ęzanne, van Gogh. 18th Century Japanese artists, including Hokusai, Hiroshige, and Yoshida, who creatively embodied the paradigm of Ukiyo-e (or “floating world”), also inspired me to adopt a unique, surreal, and even dream-like perspective of the world. Romanticism’s masters of scenery such as Thomas Cole, Albert Bierstadt, Frederic Edwin Church, and Hans Gude breathlessly broadened my notion of what a “landscape” was. I experimented with techniques using ink, oils, acrylics, and watercolors, among other mediums- even metal and clay.

Eventually I came to enjoy and love the simplicity of working with soft pastels on black paper, which is first laid over a rough piece of stone tile. I have been surprised and delighted by the texture and luminosity of pastels.

I love color, and I love how colors blend together to stimulate our imaginations. I love creating a sense of tone and space utilizing color- whether it is a still summer night, a brooding storm on the horizon, a warm house amidst a wintery blizzard, a strong gust of wind, a crisp Autumn evening, or a dreary day of pouring rain. But more than just our imaginations, I believe color and tone combine to kindle our emotions. Art makes us feel something. It takes us somewhere other than where we’re standing. We remember things we’ve forgotten. We experience a world we’d never thought of. A great work of art draws us into it.

This awesome phenomenon has driven me to refine a very stylized, vibrant, even whimsical, storybook-like artistic technique over the past several years (one that I am still very much refining!). My hope is that, even in some small measure, it draws you in too.