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Welcome Home by Joseph Gyurcsak
11″ x 14″ – Oil on panel, private collection

Usually, I travel around the country giving painting demos and lecturing at art organizations. Not so during this odd time in our history. I have not been at home this much for more than twenty-five years! The pandemic has given me time to slow down, do projects around my house, walk my neighborhood and to simply appreciate all that I have. 

When I travel from my home state of New Jersey, I experience and paint wonderful subject matter. I am inspired by the fresh, exciting sights. I essentially fall in love with new beginnings. 

Why, when around our everyday surroundings, do we quickly write off the possibility of any type of inspiration and prolonged creative tracks? Perhaps the familiar gives us a blind eye to the possibilities. Shame on us! How do we overcome this neglect of the ordinary?

Holiday Lights by Joseph Gyurcsak
11″ x 14″ – Oil on panel, private collection

For me, appreciation of the familiar happened in a round-about way. My gym activities were suspended, so I began to walk. I walked and walked and I began to see more and more. I felt a change happening inside me in late November when holiday lights were turned on: I was inspired! I was excited to start recording the dusk scenes of houses that took on a completely new character once the night came and the lights went on.  I gathered my paints and started working on a series of these wonderful, stage-like scenes! 

New Year’s Eve by Joseph Gyurcsak
12″ x 12″ – Oil on canvas

I had not painted many nocturnes before, but had a lot of experience painting interiors. I quickly adapted the palette and approach for my plein air nocturnes. After a few tries, I was in the saddle and comfortable painting under lamp light. I stayed in my neighborhood and backpacked around for quick “hit and run” paintings. I was trying to stay incognito, trying not to attract attention. I wanted to capture the scenes just as they were. I began to realize the ordinary was not so ordinary

Along The Shops by Joseph Gyurcsak
12″ x 12″ – Acrylic on panel, courtesy of Artful Deposit Gallery, Bordentown, NJ 

My adventure continues, and now I am painting a series of my neighborhood blanketed in snow. I use the same strategy. I backpack out with a very light setup and find locations that transport me and my creative imagination to other worlds. 

Clearing a Path by Joseph Gyurcsak
11″ x 14″ – Acrylic on panel

I started posting my paintings on Instagram and the world responded! I have sold paintings and received wonderful feedback from artists and collectors regarding the feeling that my work gives them. 

Sunshine by Joseph Gyurcsak
9″ x 12″ – Acrylic on panel

This leads me to the most important part of this story…when you, the artist, are moved so completely to get out and paint something that ignites your passion, this is what I call the “X Factor”. When you paint something that so engulfs your emotions, this translates to paintings that go well beyond the technical aspects of mere renderings. When you paint in a zone of complete absorption in your subject, an undeniable feeling of universal connection is transmitted from your work.

So the next time you are bored and feel uninspired, stay close to home and give yourself time to absorb the beauty that is around you. Look at things in a different light and it will change the way you see and paint subjects forever. 

Morning Cometh by Joseph Gyurcsak
12″ x 12″ – Acrylic on panel

Upcoming OPA Events

Salon Show 2021 Salon Show
The Salon Show will be hosted by Quinlan Visual Arts Center, located in Gainesville, Georgia, June 10 through August 7, 2021 Learn More!
OPA Summer 2021 Online Showcase OPA Summer 2021 Online Showcase
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2021 National Convention & Wet Paint Competition 2021 National Convention & Wet Paint Competition
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Eastern Regional Exhibition 2021 Eastern Regional Exhibition
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Western Regional Exhibition 2021 Western Regional Exhibition
The Western Regional Exhibition will be held October 15 through November 27, 2021 at the Mary R. Koch Arts Center (Mark Arts), located in Wichita, Kansas. More details to be announced as they become available. Learn More!