Covid-19 has provided me with an opportunity to reassess process and subject matter in a number of ways. At the start of the pandemic, my practice mainly consisted of attempting to evoke the sensation of sunlight passing through the leaves of trees. This series, entitled komorebi, is based on the Japanese word that describes this visual effect. My process involves sketching the bones of trees and layering diagonal painted pixels over them to build up a shimmery surface.
As the pandemic started to cause me to withdraw into the studio, I found that my work started to become much more internal. My process now involves dumping a few cups of heavy-bodied gesso onto stretched canvas and frosting the surface in a random manner. After the gesso dries, I look for shapes and images that appear to be forming and intuitively draw those out of the texture. Most often flowers, water, and birds surface from the heavily-sculpted gesso during the painting process. Now my process and subject matter swing between these two different ways of working. The experience has helped to free me from painting towards a final image and simply letting the work emerge.
Copyright © 2020 Jim Kociuba
Jim Kociuba is a painter who lives and works in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Jim’s subjects include waterscapes, still-life studies, and tree studies. The common thread in his work is how he portrays light that passes through, as well as bounces off, the surfaces of these subjects. His intuitive painting techniques are decided by the urgings of his subject. Nature and technology are represented with organic and geometric imagery. Kociuba’s paintings create lively worlds of dappled brushwork and sparkling light.