Although grounded in realism, it is distinct abstract design, bold color and light that are the primary elements used to lure you ‘into’ the watercolor paintings of Andrew Kusmin. The play of light on an object or scene is the catalyst that sets an idea in motion. You move into a painting asking questions: whose afternoon nap resulted in that crushed pillow; what ancient mariner spent his life fishing from that derelict boat; whose hands shaped that pottery/buoy? These small moments are often lost in the rush of life; Andrew finds joy in freezing these instants for further examination.
Although there is diversity in his work, especially the subject matter, there is great consistency in the watercolor paintings by Andrew Kusmin. He returns to the same five basic themes ‘ visits for awhile, recycles his subjects. While looking with new knowledge and new techniques in a new time frame, he further develops the emotional content.
It is a human presence that draws him to all of his subjects, although he seldom includes an actual figure. Most often, his subjects represent a warm feeling for all that has been New England’s warmth, in times that will always speak of the human interaction with what is naturally rural and coastal New England.
Andrew doesn’t deal with extended single periods of art but his work consistently comes back to the following themes:
Architecturally: Andrew’s work, seldom defining any particular or complete setting ‘ tells us of the effects of man and time ‘ a sampling of sagging barns, tilted boat houses or simply shingles and peeling paint ‘ say it all.
Interiors: a single shock of light in an intimate setting can illuminate enough for you to experience the whole space and know ‘the’ story ‘ whether it has already happened or may be about to occur. He truly wants you to feel the familiarity based on your own experiences ‘ to say ‘I’ve been there’.
Uncompromising Close Ups From Unusual Angles: Andrew finds a huge opportunity to relate through images that represent only a small portion of the whole. Again the viewer finishes the scene ‘ and can experience some emotional connection, whether an actual experience or a dream.
Multiples: evoke curiosity ‘ the repetition in the construction or composition creates a harmony, gives an opportunity to study the same subjects from various angles, various stages of development or decay. The mood and location emerges.
Florals: flowers as a form of expression for mankind. Mixed with human reason and expression, flowers help us see and express ourselves from joy to sadness. Andrew explores flowers, intimately as a bee might, to find all unknown passages within the framework of their setting. The flower becomes a life. Feelings, personalities and above all mood develop as he paints. The setting becomes equal to, and often more important than the blossom.
Simple Pleasures Remembered: Watercolor Paintings by Andrew Kusmin will be on exhibition in the Narrows Gallery January 9 ‘ February 28. Gallery hours are Wednesday ‘ Saturday, Noon ‘ 5:00 and by appointment. Gallery Admission is Free during regular Gallery hours. All concert ticket-holders are also welcome to view the exhibition on performance night.