Bonnie E Koenig states: “My work is concerned with texture from nature, minimalism and abstraction of form. The use of color and light are the prominent vehicles used to create movement, depict a place, and evoke a mood.
I grew up in Virginia. Finding my inspiration from nature and specifically beautiful landscapes is easy to understand. I find that my inspiration come from the intricacies and colors of nature and from natural formations. Some paintings are derived from on-site compositions while others are created from internal inspirations. The encaustic work has moved closer toward a mixture of complexity of layering within fluid simplification of forms, sensual line, and expressive mark-making. These works are a use of ancient materials for contemporary art.
Let me explain my journey.
My education in art started at the University of Texas, Austin. I studied there for a little over two years. Our family was transferred to Kansas where I completed my degree at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. I am sharing this because this is when I discovered the encaustic medium.
I chose to paint with encaustic was while in college in Lawrence. I had not seen anyone paint with encaustic during this time, but one of my senior professors encouraged me to try the medium because he felt it would be a good fit for my sensibilities and the transparency of the medium would allow me to have the layering I long for in my work.
I found that the encaustic is a technique which was used by the ancient Egyptians, and other ancient societies, to paint the portraits for the tombs, because it would last the test of time. Quote: . Due to the hot dry Egyptian climate, the paintings are frequently very well preserved, often retaining their brilliant colours seemingly unfaded by time.
The minimalist landscapes are inspired by my travel to the southwest. I have family connections to the northwest panhandle of Texas. This area is referred to as the high plains which lies approximately 4000 feet above sea level, but instead of mountains we find flat planes created during the glacier movement. It is agriculture base environment, with beautiful wheat fields, grassland which open and close with the most beautiful 360 degree sunrises and sunsets. It is surreal and beautiful. in the colors of the arid desert landscape, combined with the high altitude blue skies and the line of the distant horizon which may be up to 50 miles away. Standing in the fields or simply viewing the landscape through the car window was so moving for me that I wanted to capture the beauty and peacefulness in my art. Photographs didn’t complete it for me, I had to paint them.
The titles I chose for each work support the time and place and sometimes the event.
Inspirations come from works of Rothko and from Georgia O’keefes’ simplified landscapes.
Exploring mediums such as oil, acrylic, and encaustic these works contains somewhat different texture. Although as you can see in each work my theme remains in nature.
The minimalist landscapes and the encaustic pieces are created by a deliberate process painting style. Development of the composition and patient layering of color is what creates the mood and place. In the work, Northern Breeze, I moved into more expressive techniques to give a feel for the place, time and mood, The textured grass showing movement, along with the color palette make us aware of the time of year. The texture and the direction of the brush strokes help us to feel the coolness and direction of the breeze. Maybe I should retitle this one True North. Something that would complete my thought about this painting, the fact that keeping focus on my work or choosing directions that will keep me on the path I should be on for internal happiness and peace.
The Bonnie Koenig Gallery: