Artist Statement

I have been creating art for most of my life. Though mostly self taught, I started college as an architecture student which provided me with a firm grounding in all mediums of artistic expression. After completing a graduate degree in urban planning, I was drafted into the Army and stationed at Fort Benning, GA at the height of the protests against the Vietnam War. It was during that time, that I started my artistic journey in abstract art using mixed media, collage, and acrylics to give expression to powerful emotions evoked by the war.

After my Army service, I had a 45 year professional career as an award winning urban planner, planning consultant, public administrator, development consultant, and later as a developer of award winning historic preservation and new construction projects. During that time, I also had the opportunity to further develop my artistic interests.

In the early 1990s, I took a six month personal sabbatical to spend almost full time as artist exploring a variety of mediums, and perfecting my techniques. I found myself drawn to abstract forms, and was strongly influenced by the work of Richard Diebenkorn, a great 20th Century American artist. I use a variety of materials–found objects, cloth, metal, paper, as well as acrylics, multiple textures, and bold colors to create an emotional impact to the art works. Many of my works are infused with commentary about current social and political issues. Many of these pieces have been purchased by private collectors.

In 2001 I spent ten days in Tuscany painting en plein air under the instruction of Pamela Dulong Williams, painting traditional landscapes and as well as abstract interpretations of those same landscapes.

I work in my studio, from photos taken during my travels, and en plein air occasionally. I always try to simplify what I am observing, to flatten perspectives, and to use color and textures to create pieces that evoke feeling and impact. I am constantly seeking new ways and materials to create more interesting and compelling work.

Bob Thoresen