Chris Witkowski Art

Inspired by a variety of subjects, my work is primarily representational with an intention to pause present time, allowing the viewer to appreciate that which captivated me.  In the limiting genres of the art world, it might be called “Realism” which is defined as, “The representation in art or literature of objects, actions, or social conditions as they actually are, without idealization or presentation in abstract form.” By that very strict definition, I would have to say that I am not a “realist”.  I do enhance, embellish, delete, simplify and at times employ abstracted elements in my compositions. I start with what the natural world is presenting me, which is my reality in that moment, and interpret it so it now a reality in your moment.

Chris Witkowski - Abandoned Orchard
Abandoned Orchard
oil on canvas

Abandoned Orchard
The sense of time and place held in a landscape painting is a portal into another world.  The fine artist works from a very subjective viewpoint, often not even aware of all the influences vying to be expressed.  I know for myself, my best paintings are ones that seem to ask to be painted.  When that happens, I need to step aside and let decades of practice and experience tell the story.

Chris Witkowski - Golden Beach Bird
Golden Beach Bird
oil on canvas

Golden Bird
A painting based on a dream can be interpreted in endless ways.

Chirs Witkowski - Ghost Gourds
Ghost Gourds

Ghost Gourds
Even a still life can create a different narrative for each viewer.

Chris WItkowski - Graffito #1
Graffito #1
oil on canvas

In an abstract painting, the human brain is often galvanized by an emotional reaction and wants to identify shapes and forms that can anchor it with a feeling of familiarity.

Chris Witkowski - Picking Lettuce
Picking Lettuce
pastel on paper

Picking Lettuce
An illustration, on the other hand, does not leave as much to the imagination.  Its purpose is to explain in pictorial form a concept that has been determined beforehand. Sometimes illustrators work independently creating pictures that may follow a current news cycle, a popular trend or even a personal interest.  Illustrators are also commissioned to work with a team or an art director to create the image that will best serve a concept.  As making art is a solitary profession it can be fun to brainstorm with others.

Flora, Wine and Favas, Beets, Salmon Woman
I have been lucky to collaborate with clients who appreciate the fine art sensibility that I bring to my work.  I started working as an illustrator about fifteen years ago when as a new member of the Port Townsend Farmers Market board I was asked to create an image in support of the market. This opened up a floodgate of opportunity for me. Since then I’ve been able to create imagery that relates to some of my favorite subjects.

My fine art painting has definitely informed my work as an illustrator and vice versa.  Because of my work as an illustrator, I am much more able to add or subtract an element or enhance a color to help recreate a certain warmth of mood in a painting. Also, I can now more easily apply the self-discipline needed to finish a commissioned painting to my fine art work.  You have to show up at the easel every day to progress as an artist.

I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest on Bainbridge Island and have been working as a fine artist and illustrator on the West Coast for over 30 years.

My watercolors, pastels, and oils are in private collections throughout the United States. I endeavor to have my fine art and illustration convey the essence of my subject through rich color, beautiful light, and strong composition. My illustrations are all done in chalk pastel on black paper.  My current fine art painting is exclusively in oil.  Most of my work is available for licensing.

Please enjoy.