Vince Kanarek is the latest artist to have his art featured at the Strathmore Municipal Library. He brings a unique art style and medium with him, as he uses scratchboard art to create works that he describes as being dramatic and bold, and not all warm and cozy like you might be used to.
One look at Kanarek's art shows you how different scratchboard art can be compared to regular drawings. He uses this medium to take advantage of black, which can be used to create darker compositions, both literally and figuratively. Some of his pieces have creepy vibes, like his various clown works, while others are dark in the sense that he plays with minimal lighting within the work.
One thing that really makes Kanarek's art stand out is the play between 2D and 3D. Some of his pieces, like "Fantasy", has 3D elements with her locks of hair, but then the black background is completely flat. He says he enjoys working in this style because it challenges the viewers perception when trying to balance both 2D and 3D in the same piece.
Kanarek explained scratchboard is a unique type of art, as you have white clay with black ink on top, and then you scratch the ink off to reveal the white. He explained this is the reverse of what the normal drawing process would be, as normally you're drawing black lines on white paper.
"You have to kind of switch your brain a little bit. If you just go about it like drawing with the white, it doesn't give you that natural lighting effect. So once you kind of make that reverse, then all kinds of cool things happen."
Kanarek is currently a tattoo artist at Ink Addicts and also has a background in digital art, so he said he's usually very specific with planning his pieces out. However, one thing he enjoys about scratchboard is the freedom he feels with his pieces, which gives it his own unique style, even among his other works.
"Scratch boards almost the opposite, it pulls me away from that (planning) and it says 'here's the raw material to work with.' So it's kind of refreshing in that sense because they evolve as they go, surprising things happen, which is kind of nice. You can't be super serious all the time. You have to leave a little bit of room for play. I find my art pieces generally turn out a little better if I leave a little bit of room for play."
Kanarek is a big promoter of art, especially in smaller towns like Strathmore. He says art is such an important aspect of our lives; whether it's shirts, phone cases, furniture designs, and more, he says art surrounds us all the time but we don't really notice it. To promote art, he teaches at the Wheatland Art Society, and also hopes his art inspires others to try making their own work, or experimenting with different styles.
"Stay creative, that's one of my mottos. Keep that creative muscle working."
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