Members of Manhattan Arts International
Featured Artists Article by Renée Phillips
Revised on December 2, 2016
Abstract artists use the visual language of shape, form, color and line to create compositions that depart from depicting straight forward reality. Their art forms may exist either partially or completely removed from any visual references to the natural world.
With imagination, freedom of expression, and a desire to unleash spontaneity through their chosen medium, the artist who creates abstract art may often enter the realm of transcendental, contemplative, visionary and timeless themes. And, they take us along on their journey with an invitation to discover our own interpretations.
Here are some of Manhattan Arts International members who have chosen abstraction as their style of choice. They include Cindy Walton, Karl Szekielda, Keith Morant, Mary Chaplin, John Anderson, and Michael Amrose, whose art is shown in the banner above. Each artist possesses his/her own individual artistic vocabulary.
Artists are featured in reverse alphabetical order.
Click artists’ names to visit their pages.
Cindy Walton is a highly proficient abstract artist in the extremely demanding cold wax methods. “As a native of the Gulf Coast of Florida and a 25 year resident of the mountains of Western North Carolina I am influenced by personalities, emotions, images and colors associated with these locals which are distinctive in character and environment.”
She has developed highly personalized techniques in oil and cold wax that translate and transform nature and iconography. As a result, her paintings are transformative interpretations rather than literal renderings.
About her process she explains, “I have over the years developed highly personal perceptions and highly personalized techniques. I seek to project authentic intimate interpretations of the world which I encounter.”
She adds, “I lose myself in pursuit of that which seeks disclosure.”
New York artist Karl H. Szekielda creates abstract paintings that are a synthesis of art and science. He distills the best attributes of both worlds to reveal their mystery and wonder. His art evokes a sensual and energetic condition of atmospheric light with effortless movement. His grey-blue backgrounds and soft edges provide a dynamic presence of infinity.
He explains, “Art is for me a constructive process that is based on my imagination and a thorough understanding of material flow that leads to an esthetic arrangement until it pleases me. My imagination goes even beyond because imagination reaches the universe and knows no boundaries.”
With a superior handling of graduated tones, gestures, and a variety of translucent and transparent applications of paint he achieves a robust rhythmic expression. Colors and forms coalesce in an exquisite sense of harmony, balance and depth.
Keith Morant is an internationally acclaimed artist from New Zealand who creates expressive oil and mixed media abstract paintings. His award-winning art is characterized by a myriad of unique curvilinear forms and symbols, contrasting colors, and vitality. Using his own signature style he stimulates our senses and challenges our mental processes.
He has always pursued his inimitable path of individual expression. He states, “My art is always a journey of discovery into the essence of being. It is an effort to externalise the truth of my own existence on as many levels as possible and communicate a greater awareness of the quality of life. It is an attempt to generate enquiry into the greater spheres of understanding which lie beyond conventionalised intellection.”
“When I begin a painting I know that, apart from a strong urge to create and a highly developed instinctual direction with tools and materials, there can be no specific design or plan for the picture as a finished product.”
An artist from Montreal Canada, Chantal Leblanc creates light-filled abstract paintings that are also powerful and life-affirming. Using abstraction with spontaneity, Her painting “The Angel Within” was selected to win an Award of Excellence in Manhattan Arts International’s “The Healing Power of ART” exhibition.
Leblanc’s creative approach begins as a subtractive and intuitive process as she allows bursts of vibrating colors to emerge which resonate and expand in depth. She then adds very thin layers of glazes and washes to bring movement to the compositions.
She achieves an ethereal atmosphere through the juxtaposition of soft strokes of muted colors with energetic vibrant hues. Nature’s dynamic energy is captured along with the tension between opposites.
Mary Chaplin lives in France and refers to her art as “Abstract Impressionism”. She elevates viewers’ moods with her nature-inspired images, using robust gestural strokes, animated compositions, and vibrant colors.
She explains, “It took me many years to be able to paint the emotion my garden brings me, how I feel it, breathe it.” In true to form partial abstraction she emphasizes, “To paint a flower, it is not just to paint its petals, its stamens , it is to paint the soul of the flower.”
“I treat the light in my work, as I paint water, sometimes dissociating the surface element with the mystery of the deep. Also as I cannot find the words to express the inexpressible emotion that drives my art, I consider my paintings as gateways to where the inexpressible can be expressed.”
John Anderson combines his mastery of color and composition with state of the art digital software to produce dramatic abstract works of art. The artist, who is also a hospital chaplain in Georgia, sees art as a means of giving expression to the transcendent dimension of life “to make the invisible visible”. In essence, his art invites the viewer to enter the metaphysical dimension.
Anderson refers to his art as “Visual Alchemy” and explains, “I use a photographic scene as my starting point. Drawing the colors from within the photograph into my brush, I paint with the pixels on a canvas, just as I would with oil, watercolor, or acrylic paint. I transform the image into a totally new reality, bearing little, if any resemblance to the original image.”
He explains that he sees abstraction, “as a way of making the invisible visible, inviting viewers into an engagement with emotions that open new dimensions.”
Michael Amrose creates abstract photography which is influenced by abstract expressionism and is heavily informed by his studies of filmmaking. Like filmmaking, each photographic project, unique in theme and subject, is executed using filmic techniques, such as movement—camera, subject or both—and pulling focus.
The photographer’s final images bear little resemblance to his subjects. Curtains, tar markings on roadways, and other common place objects are transformed by the artist who explains, “I change my subjects’ colors and shapes creating new tones, shapes and forms. The change results in abstract images that express energy, rhythm and emotion.”
His abstract photographs convey a sense of tranquility and the sublime. His visual vocabulary transcends physical form and subsequently has a profound visceral connection with the viewer. He opens the portal to a myriad options of endless interpretations.