paintings by Craig K. Comstock

Artist's Statement

main menu of paintings

I paint stuff that’s real but isn’t ordinarily visible to us. Realist or figurative art helps us see the common world in ways and to a degree that are wonderful. But much as I love flowers, faces, and mountain streams, what I’m drawn to, in my own work, are fields beyond ordinary sight, events we rarely talk about, and snapshots of feelings. The result is often called “abstract” or “visionary,” but to me it’s no more unreal than objects we handle.

Some viewers assume that, while a realist is guided by objects everybody can see, abstract artists can concoct anything they want. The latter is not my experience. For me there’s a reality I’m depicting and can’t stray from. If I do (or rather, whenever I do) I feel a pressure to return to the source.

Some of the images on this website deal with origins that occurred long ago or are hidden from sight, or take place at different scales than we live, or inside us rather than in visually shared worlds. Some are about making contact, being shaken, or moving through specific places.

As a visual artist, I admire depictions of the invisible, such as the playscapes of Paul Klee, the shamanic art of Pablo Ameringo, the layered worlds of the watercolorist and poet David Jones, Persian tiling, aboriginal art, Zen brush paintings. As for other scales, one early influence was Powers of Ten, a book and movie that start with a picnic scene, pull back by orders of magnitude (10, 100, 1000, etc.) until the earth is just a pixel, then zoom back and dive into the microscopic.

I also love hypnagogic moments, as between waking and sleep, when things fade away or arise.

In my day job I'm a book creation coach, working with fellow authors.