Greta Van Campen’s paintings are geometric and colorful. The lines imply shadow, movement, scale and light. Sometimes each of these elements stands apart, weighty and abstracted as a familiar scene breaks up in appreciative color.
At other times, your eye catches it all as the elements unite. All of a sudden, you’re standing on a splintered dock or craning your neck high to redwoods or meditating on a retreating glacier.
“When people ask me what kind of art I do, I never know what to say. Usually the words “hard-edge, sort of abstract, generally landscape based acrylic paintings” come out of my mouth in a not-so-eloquent manner. I’ve found that people understand what I’m describing when I talk about the process a little more.”
“It is a little like solving a puzzle, starting with a photograph I’ve taken of a particular place or scene. I look at that photo and figure out how to recreate a version of the natural, atmospheric place by turning it into a more geometric, color and balance-driven scene that is hopefully appealing, interesting, and authentic. I always begin with large areas of color in the background, and I use tape to mask off sections, building up layers of paint to generate the image. I don’t do any drawing before, so I’m just using the tape and paint and it feels a little more like printmaking or collage as opposed to drawing. The tiniest details, shapes, and lines are the fun bits added toward the end that make each piece feel complete.”
All paintings above (C) 2015 Greta Van Campen
Greta Van Campen is a painter from Thomaston, Maine known for her contemporary hard-edge style. She comes from a family of artists and grew up painting beside her mother and father. Greta graduated from Bowdoin College in 2005 with a major in visual art. After college she spent some time abroad and then moved to Chicago where she worked as a Montessori teacher and studio assistant to artist Tony Fitzpatrick. In 2011 she received funding through kickstarter for her “Greta Paints America” project which allowed her to travel the country and develop her process while painting all fifty states. She now lives and works in Maine.