Steven Yessick merges painting and the online world
The work of Chattanooga painter Steven Yessick goes far beyond the canvas, transferring the energy of friendly social gatherings to international forums.
Yessick first discovered an interest in abstract art when drawing and designing buildings in Architecture school at Clemson. He worked in the library, where he pored through books of paintings while on break.
“Some of my pattern pieces were inspired by Lee Krasner’s work of painting fields of floral forms within her compositions,” he explains. “The dadaists and beatniks were also a huge influence on my work, as I like to represent an idea in its purest, most raw form.” His unique experience and outlook put him on a path to drawing “form combinations”.
“In my travels, as well as in my studies of the oeuvre of western art, I have not observed anything like the form combinations as subject matter—so I decided to use this idea of form as subject in my own work,” Yessick says, explaining his process.
He draws with whatever he can get his hands on at the moment, lamenting, “There are never enough pens, they always seem to disappear.”
What doesn’t vanish in the process are the unique forms; when Yessick applies the mechanics of his abstract, form-based imaging process to figurative painting, the result is a unique style that is reminiscent of cubism and surrealism.
The paintings have a distorted quality that is similar to what one sees when looking through the heat waves that rise from a fire. The style lends itself well to observational painting, and he employs it to describe a variety of environments.
“Mostly I’m inspired by beauty, in whatever form it may possess at that moment,” he notes. “All people can be beautiful. Some are more mysterious than others, but I try to look for the beauty in everyone.
“A lot of my designs for paintings start with a drawing. Sometimes I can visualize an idea, but many times the finished product is different from what I had imagined. That’s because I try to go with a basic plan or idea, and leave room for improvisation. Sometimes, the best things will happen a certain way, and then they just kind of stick. You have to know when to hold or fold when painting.”
For his paintings, Yessick stretches and prepares his own canvasses. He usually designs the image beforehand, draws it on the canvas, and then paints according to plan – always leaving room for improvisation along the way. He prefers to be surrounded by people when designing the paintings.
“The reason why I’m interested in doing the drawing/design work for my pieces around other people is because I feel people are happier when together with those they like,” he says. “When music is being played, the vibe is even greater. Taking that energy and putting it into a painting is a way of communicating some of those feelings or emotions into a visual format.”
He takes this transference of energy a step further by publishing the paintings in book format.
“I decided to self-publish books on Amazon to give readers access to my many, many works all in one place. The entire bookmaking process is easy, and fun. I like to work in different media, because I feel that it helps me focus on what I’m doing at that moment.
“Working with various media helps to keep me excited about a current project, and to not lose interest in any one thing. The media I work with are all connected, so it just works for me to move between them as needed.”
In addition to publishing his work physically, Yessick also publishes it electronically, through websites and social media outlets, and is an expert at SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
“A lot of being a webmaster has to do with writing. SEO is probably the best way to get free organic traffic to your website,” he explains.
Yessick offers private painting lessons that cater to students of any skill level. He is currently working on a new series of paintings for an upcoming exhibition, and a book of Architectural Sketches that is to be released soon.
Interested parties can search Amazon for Steven Yessick to find his Author Page and Books, as well as following him on all the main social media sites.