As my adventure in curating “Nature’s Keep” continued, I visited the Vienna, Maine studio of artist Ross Grams, whose maturity in his work belies his young age. It is so evident that he has had some very solid training. His work on paper–drawing and printmaking— is on par with that on canvas. Palette knife, graphite, or paint brush, he has a command of color and technique.
Ross’ Artist Statement:
If my art is about anything, it is about the process of painting. My process is quite stupid. I’m too impatient and overconfident to do much prep-work, too lazy and easily bored to work on the same thing for very long, too much of a perfectionist to want to work on something that doesn’t make me instantly gratified, and too cowardly to paint fast. So I end up with a long painful process with alternating bouts of painting, finding reference, sketching, and feeling very sorry for myself.
My paintings are composed of about 10-25 layers. I paint the first few layers quite carelessly and they are usually very ugly. Another reason why I do so little preliminary work is because if I have everything figured out beforehand I may finish a painting in too few layers. Then I end up with a ‘finished’ painting that just doesn’t have that certain something. It lacks depth—and I mean actual, physical depth of paint. It doesn’t have that complex interaction of multiple layers of semi-transparent paint that makes plain oil paint look good.
Since I give myself so much aggravation with my inefficient working process, it is fortunate that choosing subject matter is not much of a problem for me. I paint whatever I feel like. I really don’t care about any post-post-modern metaphysical baggage; I like good paint and I like good painting.