2018-19 Botanical Gardens of New York

This series of large abstract/realist paintings depicts images from my visits to both the Brooklyn and Bronx Botanical Gardens of New York. This is a new series that shows my last seven paintings completed since November 2018.

Unlike Landscape paintings the subjects of these works are first assembled from selected vectorized computer images to create a personal composition much like a still life set up that I then use as my visual model that is painted by eye.

I am now seeing the beauty of our natural world through the eyes of highly trained Botanists who create Pond and Palm Gardens in the center of a large metropolitan area.

If humans keep destroying their natural environment we may only have these “plant zoos” left to visit. 

2013-18 Mystical Realism

This series of large-scale realist paintings depicts the organic greens and natural environments that enhance my life from a local community sponsored agricultural farm to an amazing number of wonderful farm stands throughout the Philadelphia region.

Before they are consumed, I take a photograph of my freshly picked subjects. I,place them on a white ground to dramatize their natural abstract forms and designs in an effort to create a floating or more mystical composition than that of a traditional still life’s perspective. I then bring the image into Photoshop to colorize, move parts around and sometimes combine it with other images. After that I vectorize the jpegs in Illustrator to eliminate their pixels so they can be enlarged as solid vector units of color. With a mix of orange, ochre and raw sienna, I underpaint the entire painting. All the basic proportions, scaling and drawing are done at this stage before the colors are applied because of their large scale. 

The subjects become portraits, rather than still lifes, and are made more dramatic by their super size and shadows. The canvases are all scaled up by eye with no projection. This allows my work to be more painterly than their computer sketched models. I also sometimes use multiple views within one canvas to add some magic and bird’s-eye perspectives.

My work is an evolution of ideas, using paint in an on-going visual dialogue, paying homage to our natural world.

Sosson, July 2018