"Colors, as used by the Fauvists, the challenge of composition and the excitement of discovery impact my work and style. Animals, plants, landscapes and people provide a wealth of subject matter. Combining a sense of warmth, graceful movements and detail give release to a style bordering on abstract but reflecting a true image.
I am developing a style that is unique to me. I want something that is different. It is stylized, often whimsical, always colorful and hopefully strong in design and composition. I also work on figurative images and images that are strictly abstract or non-objective.
When working on an animal image, I look at the anatomy and try to strategically place elements to help define that anatomy. I like to combine both realism and abstraction in one piece. Sometimes the subject may be more stylized in its form and other times the form might be more realistic. Inside the form imagination rules.
When you look at an image of mine, you can always tell what it is. It is when you step up to it that you can see that I have taken liberty with the inside form. However, I always try to maintain the essence of the animal, figure or tree. Each line and every shape have a purpose. The colors and textures work in harmony with the subject.
I draw and paint with an overall plan in mind. When I start painting, I put down a color and let that color suggest to me the next color at the same time I try to hold to the image that I have in my head. I spend a lot of time working out my drawings and composition.
My paintings can evoke an emotional response from the viewer. An art critic once suggested that my art could be described as Abstract Surrealism. Mythology, Nature, Native American, Celtic, Asian, Middle Eastern, Greek and Roman art are strong influences in my work. My work also reflects a Gustave Klimt feel as well as influences from Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, Juan Miro and the modern day Chuck Close.
I use geometric shapes, circles, triangles, squares and other forms, such as arrows and concentric circles. The arrow, used by early Native Americans in many of their animal images found on pottery and petroglyphs, represents the heart line. The heart line was believed to be the strength, source, and breath of life for a particular animal. I use the arrow as a design element and feel that it helps give my paintings a sense of movement as well as suggesting the four directions. Above all, I try to create something unique, fascinating to look at and something that brings joy doing."
- Bob Coonts