Artist Francis Demaske shares an exquisite portfolio of architecturally inspired paintings and landscapes in his distinctive colorful style. See more of his work by visiting his website.
The creation of art has never been an extra thing. It has always been a part of my makeup, my DNA. So any other professional choice was not an option. I taught Design and Illustration at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania for 31 years and was an illustrator and designer since 1983. In 2018, I moved into the gallery and exhibition world. This is quite different from the commercial arena.
The trajectory of my life, in terms of art, was formulated early on. It’s what I loved to do. When I was in elementary school, my parents would drop me off at the Cleveland Museum of Art for a few hours on Saturdays. I would wander the museum and sketch anything that I thought was interesting, spending most of my time in the Medieval Armor Court. This would never take place today, but at the time this is what fueled my creative passion.
I grew up in Cleveland Heights, Ohio and became friends with George Kozmon, a successful gallery artist and teacher. We would spend our time after school drawing superhero characters and dinosaurs on rolls of craft paper. We connected through art those many years ago and are still close today.
In 1964, I made a pencil drawing on notebook paper and gave it to my grandfather. It was nothing special from an execution standpoint. When my grandfather passed away in 2002, my aunts went through his possessions. They found the drawing folded up in his wallet. It meant that much to him that he kept it all those years.
It’s that type of connection that I hope to make with my work. I try to entertain the viewer with viewpoint, color scheme, brush work, unique color notes and interesting textures/shapes. I want them to find something new every time they see the work.
Architecture has had a powerful and profound impact upon my work. Growing up in Cleveland, I was aware of the many deteriorating bridges and structures. The way the structures cut the sky into neat geometric shapes revealing the gleaming city skyline provided inspiration for my work. This is still a large part of what drives me, although I have become more interested in traditional landscapes.
Despite many obstacles along the way, I have managed to survive as a visual artist. This includes my new creative venue along with my most recent hurdle. In 2019, I was diagnosed with several tears in my retinal wall. For a period of time, I was completely blind.
My obvious concern was how this would impact my work. I was terrified! I have gone through three surgical procedures. The surgeries left me with vision that is still compromised.
This recent issue with my eye has motivated me even more to create and paint. My process had to be altered to compensate for issues that resulted from my condition, but I have been able to adjust for it.
I feel my work has taken a new direction especially in the area of color and has left me even more determined to make new inroads in my work.
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