Charles Wysocki Puzzles

Charles Wysocki Puzzles

All of Charles Wysocki's paintings are abstracts in the sense that none of them is a rendition of an actual place. Just as an author of fiction will take aspects of many people he knows and meld them into one realistic whole, so Wysocki utilizes pieces of many scenes and threads of many feelings, and weaves them into a symbolic and realistic whole. His paintings express feelings just as strongly as the imaginary scenes they depict-the quirky humor, the warmth, romance, sentimentality, the complex organization, the delight in pattern and, above all, the love he feels for America, appear again and again in his richly detailed, brilliant compositions that celebrate various aspects of American life from the early 1800s on through the 1920s and '30s. If the scenes never existed in actuality, one has the feeling they certainly should have. Moreover, they are so rich in inventive detail that one can come back to them again and again, each time delightedly discovering something new.

Wysocki's method of working is painstaking and methodical. When he gets a concept for a painting, he first draws the various elements on small pieces of tissue paper. There might be two or three or as many as dozens of such mini-pieces. These are moved around, or changed, or developed, or all three, until he is satisfied that he has a balanced composition. He might then do an overall drawing on tissue and then embark on color. If the color is not going properly, he will start all over again to redesign. Sometimes a painting will take weeks to develop. Sometimes all the many elements fit easily and everything seems to fall into place.

Of his painting methods Wysocki says, 'I received most of my training as a 'painter' in my own studio under my own plodding direction. I took painting classes but the time spent in these classes was limited and just covered the basics. Time, and what seems like thousands of brush miles later, I still feel I have just scratched the surface. Another influence that has affected my personal style is my love for pattern. Fitting patterns together piques my interest."

This is abundantly clear from the home in which Chuck and Elizabeth live. The house is filled with Americana-dozens of beautiful antique bottles (Elizabeth's collection), jars, jugs, crocks, carvings of birds and other animals, textiles, lace, western bronzes, paintings, old-time artifacts, dried flowers, baskets-and unobtrusively comfortable chairs and sofas, tables and lamps in the right places. The walls are covered with original art by Wysocki and other artists, including portraits of Washington and other presidents, and - look closely! - exquisite needlepoint "paintings" done by Elizabeth. The magnificent quilt in the master bedroom is her work, too. The whole house is redolent of love and care and joy, with every nook and cranny arranged to caress the eye. To say nothing of the six cats who grace the house with their presence.