Fireline, oil, 22" x 30", 2007

Blair is an orthopedic surgeon associated with Mercy Hospital in Iowa City and has pursued an interest in painting for many years.

Influenced primarily by the Abstract Expressionist of the 1950s and by Existential philosophy, William Blair's paintings and drawings reflect his interest in the exploration of the non-objective. Both his paintings and drawings are characterized by a constrained accidentalness and an "all-overness" of subdued, earth-toned color.  His techniques often result in random patterning, where the medium either completely fills the canvas or a defined space on the paper.

Blair states, "I think about painting and drawing every day, primarily about form and color.  There are limitless technical variations that can guide the application of paint color onto the canvas.  It can be applied as a single plane or in multiple layers.  The paint can be brushed, scraped, dropped, pushed, splattered, subtracted or transferred.  I've experimented with all of these methods to contort the substance of the paint on the canvas.  Applying pigments this way imposes secondary features under the surface of the paint such as line and texture.  During various stages of the painting, I use subtraction techniques to bring the paint to the surface for viewing.  The drawings are a continuation of the layering process but in reverse, using patterns of ink on paint or ink or ink."

text and image from Iowa Artisans Gallery

This page was first displayed
on September 13, 2007

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