Artist StatementAbstract oil paintings by Tulasi Zimmer
I started my professional career as an artist painting realistic/traditional figures and still life, when I was still in high school. For several years, I had a busy time painting, entering competitions, and fulfilling gallery obligations mainly on the East coast. After being involved in the New York art scene for a few years, I took a break from painting and pursued other creative endeavors. Three years ago, I had a desire to paint again. But, I wanted to do something totally different than what I was painting before. I thought I would try painting landscapes. I was going for a more painterly approach in my work, but I wasn’t happy with the results and was getting continually frustrated. So, I decided to try painting abstractly as a way to make my brushstrokes more fluid. To my surprise, I started to enjoy creating the abstract paintings so much that I decided to go in a totally different direction. These new abstract paintings are a fresh start and a new direction for me.
I don't have a subject in mind when I start a new painting. I begin by selecting a color palette to work with. Then, I randomly paint large shapes over the entire canvas, using energetic brush strokes of transparent paint diluted with a painting medium. From there, I intuitively select and enhance shapes that I find interesting, and sometimes merge several shapes into one. I continue by adding values of colors that will push and pull shapes in and out of the space and create a sense of movement. In some instances, I will apply thicker applications of paint that not only provide a sense of depth, but also create interesting textural qualities. I choose to work with oil paint, because it is easier for me to create color blends and value gradations. I try not to portray representational elements in my paintings, because I want the viewer to interpret their own meaning to my art work and enjoy the visual experience.
I call this series of paintings “Inner Landscapes” to reflect the internal imagery I experience and try to manifest through painting. I enjoy taking the abstract approach, because it appeals to my years of practice in spirituality and meditation. It’s the journey into the unknown, without an external reference, and the exploration of my Self that is intriguing to me. Furthermore, it is a lesson of surrender and the letting go of results that I am learning through this creative process.