Dave Wisniewski

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Dave Wisniewski
I was born March 26, 1956.
I work and reside in Toledo, Ohio.
I am married to the PERFECT wife and have two GREAT children.

Early Years
My mother was an artist and equipped me with paintings supplies at an early age.
When I was in the 3rd grade I took my first oil painting to school for "Show and Tell" and it was  placed on an easel in the hall for all the students to see. My teacher told me I was very talented. I had no idea what that meant until that very moment.
My professional art experience started when a record store hired me as the store artist in 1977. I created art for all the displays and promotions throughout the store. At that time I mastered the airbrush and began painting airbrushed portraits of the recording artists.
A few years later I started a shop that provided custom painting for autos and motorcycles, as well as the airbrush portraits and signs. I was a fairly successful street artist.

Bump in the Road
I have been Diabetic all my life and in 1987 I was diagnosed with Diabetic Retinopathy, and learned my eyesight was failing me. Treatments and surgeries were helpful but by the end of the year I was legally blind.
After intensive rehabilitation, low vision evaluations and aptitude testing by  the Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired,  the redesignn of my future was at hand. My counselor asked, "Mr. Wisniewski, what  would you like to do vocationally?"
I replied, “Well, I am still an artist.”

Back to the Drawing Board
To achieve a formal education in art I enrolled at the University of Toledo where I majored in painting and received my Bachelor of Art degree in 1998..
The professors and instructors were essential in helping me find a way to use my remaining sight to create art. I graduated Suma Cum Laude.

Thanks Mom
My mother suddenly died in 1999. A week later my father was notified that a sofa mom had purchased was ready for pick-up. Still dazed by her untimely death, we dragged ourselves to the furniture store. During the transaction the sales clerk painfully reflected on how my mother boasted me as a "wonderful artist". The clerk recommended a local Art gallery in which she was familiar. I took a painting to the gallery and was invited to display my work. I immediately sold that painting before it was even hung. I continue to sell paintings locally as well as to buyers around the country.  As the interest in my work has increased I am producing more paintings and reaching out to new galleries and exhibitions. I have shown my work in New York and sold work in the west. Thanks again Mom.

  Whom have I created?

They gaze out at us from under the wide brim of a well-worn hat with shadowed eyes, and we become locked in their ambiguous stare. The interaction begins with careful investigation of what may be going on in that two-dimensional mind created on the canvas. Cowboys, lawmen and farmers from a dusty past peek into our lives as if there is something to be said. Where have they been, and what are their stories?

Being that I am legally blind I cannot actually see eyes, merely shadows. It is difficult to distinguish if someone is looking at me, near me, or behind me, and I can only assume eye contact. My paintings allow you to experience my awkward perspective, but then, allow you to look right back and ask, “Are you looking at me?” At that point you are invited, sometimes demanded, to acknowledge the subjects interest in you.

Scale is important in my work for two reasons. It has become a case of "cause and effect". My limited eyesight “causes” me to paint larger, resulting in images that have an imposing and intimidating “effect”. The size of the canvas pulls observers from across the room to be introduced to my "larger than life" characters. The subjects are stylized, sometimes “cartoon-ish" and impressionistic, but with technique, I obtain the illusion of depth, detail and conviction.

Another ingredient I sometimes throw into the recipe is texture. I have added materials such as sawdust, sand, birdseed, and even coffee grounds, at different stages to prepare the surface. This 3rd dimension to the expression of the subject tempts you to touch them. The texture teams with the subject to portray the “true grit” of the life and times of those “rough and tumble” bygone days.

I have yet to find a room that does not welcome my work.  My paintings find comfort in the rustic cottage surroundings as well as the most sterile contemporary environments.

 Click on image for enlargement

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