Craig Cossey’s acrylic paintings have a timeless feel, capturing the many small details of everyday objects. To see more of his art, visit his website.
Even though I grew up in an academic family I have always preferred the physical world. Probably one of the first examples of this is when I was in high school. I baled hay in the summers which led to a strong farm influence in my artwork. I paint what I see around me.
Growing up in Michigan gave me a love for the complexity of nature. I then lived in Colorado for seventeen years; its intense light and the shadows it that light created became important to me, and influenced my work. When I moved back to Michigan, I realized how much grayer the color palette was compared to Colorado’s. The disparity made me realize my love for the combination of the two- strong lights but subtle coloration.
There is almost always a time when I’m working on my painting that I think it is terrible. To solve that, I introduce chaos into the painting in order to have something to fix. When I run out of things to fix, the painting is done.
When I work I find peace. More often than not peace and contentment are my goals. The doing is more important than the finished product. However, I can’t share the ‘doing’, only the ‘done’. If I do have a greater goal than that, it tends to be to highlight the gentle, unnoticed beauty around us in an intense way.
Beauty is not my goal, making my art interesting is. Many people overlook small details and instead look for things with known impact. For example, advertising is about impact. My art is about small everyday discoveries found in everyday life.
I used to think that I avoided emotion in my art, but the reality is that I’m expressing a sense of security in the familiar. Many of my paintings are inspired from things I’ve found around my home, or that were once a part of my life.
I don’t feel I overwork my paintings. A quick, simple painting with an economy of brush strokes is not what I want to do. That is one of the reasons I have always preferred acrylic paint. They do not blend well, and that lets me create textures by layering each color. I don’t perceive adding more detail as overworking my paintings, simply making sure that I’m doing it right and capturing the essence of the subject.
The passage of time tends to be a major recurring theme in my work. While the intensity of some moments demand all our attention, sometimes the little things get left by the wayside. I’ve met quite a few older people that tend to look back and say ‘What did I miss?’ I see my art as a reminder to myself of what those things might have been.