ART on the Square Gallery

artist / owner

Renee Bruce

I have always been a colorist.  I didn’t know it then, but the hours spent coloring as a small girl were laying the foundation for my current work.  Color, and how it changes in the light, is usually what catches my eye first.

As an adult, my love for color was first expressed with watercolor.  The transparency of this medium captures my attention.  After picking up oils, I discovered that smearing paint with a palette knife is a joy that’s hard to beat!  Then pastels got into the mix.  Pastels are pure pigment with only enough binder to form a stick.  They are permanent and easy to apply.  Taking a tool, like a brush or palette knife, out of the equation and holding the pigment in my fingers gives this medium an immediacy that is irresistible.

I enjoy painting the landscapes of the Lowcountry, especially the marsh and the sky.  These shapes led me naturally into abstraction.  Now, my favorite way to apply paint is to just jump in with the colors and respond to what is happening on the canvas.  Often, I begin with pigments suitable for the landscape before me, but the colors soon start forming shapes and merging together into new colors.  I’m a participant in this process but oftentimes the painting is leading and I’m the willing follower.

Not knowing the destination makes my painting process a little scary and very exciting.  I don’t panic, knowing that I can change direction or that the paint can be rubbed out and I can begin again.  The journey truly is the destination in my work.

The final step in creating art lies with the viewer.  The viewer’s response keeps this journey of creation going.  And when the viewer becomes an art lover, magic happens!