'Love And Sorrow' (2010)

The artist, Edward C. Zacharewicz has a large collection of antique paintings and religious prints.  The collection is a reminder of the images from his childhood that inspired him to start painting.

‘I was kid and going to Catholic Church with my parents and sitting there and just looking at the paintings and murals and how beautiful they were.’

It was the colours of the paintings – the bright flame of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the royal blue of the dress of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the scourged body, the pierced side, the hues and textures of the crucified Messiah.

Colours were important even then. His parents bought him painting-by-number sets and Edward filled them diligently.

‘I always enjoyed coloring, still do. I actually didn’t start to draw until I was 8 or 9 years old.  I think it was working with color that led me to paint in the style I do.

‘Color can show much emotion without being in a physical form.’

Zacharewicz’s paintings are amongst the most powerful Abstract paintings of the past twenty-five years.  He distills experience, thought and emotion into his art.

When you look at a Zacharewicz, you can understand why his favourite painter is William Turner, the man he describes as ‘the master’.

Turner was the ‘painter of light’.  His work anticipated Impressionism, and his use of brush on canvas suggested elements of Abstract Art.

Like Turner, Zacharewicz creates layered puzzles that use colour to show power and emotion.

‘All my paintings have to do with something from my life, a situation, a feeling, a thought, a person or place. I never decide, it just happens. I have a title for the work before I start.

‘I really don’t have a routine….sometimes I go weeks without painting, then all of a sudden I get this burst of wanting to paint…it might be a situation, it might be a spoken word.’

One of his most recent paintings was inspired this way.

‘‘It’s Not That Kind Of Party’ came from a conversation I was having with my friend Jessica Paris, who is the singer for Honey Spot Blvd.

'It's Not That Kind Of Party' (2010)

‘I don’t even remember what we were talking about, but somehow that was said in the conversation and I told her I was going to use it as a title for a painting. The colors I used were based on her – bright, happy colors that work well with others.’

‘Sometimes, it takes me days to finish a painting, when there has been times were I have finished one in a few hours. It depends on the colours, if I want to blend them, layer them, or drag them.

‘I basically paint with acrylics, sometimes I do add oils to a painting because I love the texture it can give. Also on some I have used oil pastel crayons for a different look.

‘There are times when I look at a painting for a few hours figuring out if it is done or not. But, I always know when it is finished.’

While he is now incredibly prolific, there was a time when Edward stopped painting for nearly twenty years – an event he is still unable to answer.

Why did you stop painting?

‘I really don’t have a true answer for that, it just kind of happened. I went from painting then to drawing in a sketchpad, then to writing poems and lyrics. Also, I was working a lot so I actually didn’t have a fair amount of time to really concentrate on my art. But, I always kept notes about paintings that I would want to do when I did start again.’

Now that he has returned to his first love, it is unlikely that he will stop. Zacharewicz’s work is in great demand.   He is being exhibited in New York and there are plans for shows in Europe next year.  His work is also to be used on the cover of the next Honey Spot Blvd CD – ‘They are a very talented band of musicians as well as wonderful friends and always very supportive of my art.’

‘I recently finished a photo/painting project with an amazing photographer Kristine Diven.  We chose one of her self-portraits and I attached it to the canvas and did a painting around it. It really is a wonderful piece.’

Zacharewicz is also working on a year-long project with West Coast artist Jeremy Guffey.

‘Jeremy wrote a poem and sent it to me, we are each doing 6 different paintings inspired by the poem and not letting each other see them until the series is done, and that will be in finished in late October. Finally, I am trying my hand at using pastels and doing abstract landscape drawings and well as doing some photography.’

All paintings © Edward C. Zacharewicz 2010 – used with permission of the artist