Ed Mieczkowski ( 1929-2017 )
I began reading about artists’ lives when I was in high school. I was very taken with Paul Cezanne and the technique he developed that I called the “freedom element.” This entailed taking the brush to the canvas at random points and not following any plan or drawing as most academic artists did. It energized the painting I was doing at the time.
My next important influence was Pablo Picasso. I revered the cubist work of Picasso and Braque. After seeing a Picasso retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, I felt I could spend the rest of my life painting shapes. It was then that the shapes I painted began to take on a geometric quality, so much so that I bought a book on geometry and began to study the matter.
When teaching drawing I became fascinated with cross hatching. Cross hatching was a drawing style that consisted of a group of parallel lines set at an angle with another set of parallel lines imposed over top and at the opposite angle. I began to use lines that had the width of a brush stroke and used them to build my paintings. I no longer thought in terms of discrete shapes. This went on for some years, and even now when I use circles instead of lines, my paintings still bear an X configuration in the background.
Looking back I can see that my work skirted geometry although it possesses aspects of geometricity.