Artist’s Statement

Creating art is about sharing something of the human experience, the layers of thought and emotion through which we are aware of our world. We each have our own layers, which color our perceptions. My intent is not just to make pretty pictures, but to explore human consciousness and visual experience.

I begin my work with a concept, an emotion or a thought. I take some time to consider how I can manifest this in a physical form. I consider the choices I have in materials and techniques and how I may combine them. Sometimes I choose an experience from my life and decide I want to explore it through the process of creating.

Simrat KhalsaThere are other times when I begin a piece more lightly, with less intention. I may start with a set of marks and at each step let my intuition guide me. Works created in this way usually have layers built upon layers, often then scraped away, or through, to reveal past work. Over time, my feeling about the piece may change as well, which adds another element of layers when I return to the work.

I approach representational images in a similar manner to abstract work. I may start with the idea that I’ll be painting a raven. As the shapes take on their own personalities, the painting develops. The eventual result often departs from the original concept. I welcome these changes.

While I enjoy working in the abstract, when recognizable images appear, I allow them to have their say. The shapes and images in my paintings become their own characters with their own stories to tell.

I prefer to paint on a hard surface, so usually use mahogany surfaced plywood. This hard surface enables me to apply paint with palate knives. A lot of the work is done with a variety of tools. I add wax medium to my oils to get a buttery consistency and can spread the paint on thickly, or use the knife to scrape back to previous color. And when the existing surface has texture, which is often the case, this also affects how the new paint goes on.

Please realize that you come to see my work with your own layers of perception. Words can only say so much. I believe that a successful piece will elicit some emotion from the viewer. It doesn’t necessarily have to be pretty to do that.

Enjoy the experience.