David Skillicorn


David Skillicorn

“The real purpose of painting is to give pleasure. My work is an expression of joy. Joy in color. Joy in gesture. Joy in the act of creating itself.” – Artist David Skillicorn

American abstract painter David Skillicorn sees painting as pure celebration. For more than 20 years, Skillicorn has dazzled clients with his luminous abstract artworks. Based in New York and Massachusetts, he has recently been exploring the complex spatial and color relationships of floral abstracts. Soft, sensual, and expansive, Skillicorn’s Botánica paintings breathe elegance, calm, joy, and exquisite beauty.

Interestingly, Skillicorn is a veteran documentary filmmaker whose Emmy award winning career spanned some 20 years. It was through film and cinematography that the artist not only fine tuned his eye for artistic detail and composition, but uncovered a passion for painting. While filming a story about artists on Cape Cod, he met up with a master painter at dawn to document his artistic process. As Skillicorn filmed, the artist set up his blank canvas, and with just five or six strokes, created what Skillicorn called – “magic”. Though it had never occurred to him before, this single, artistic experience moved the filmmaker to himself become a painter.

Skillicorn pursued his passion, and for the past twenty years has been drawn to abstract painting because, for him, it is the most challenging, the most mysterious, and ultimately, the most magical. Skillicorn shows his work regularly at premiere galleries throughout the country and his paintings are part of innumerable public and private collections.

Artist Statement

Instructions for living a life:
Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it. – Mary Oliver

I am drawn to abstract painting because it is the most challenging, holds the most mystery for me, and in the end, the most magic. My paintings are not “about” something, or “art objects” per se, as much as they are an opportunity to perhaps set in motion the imagination and trigger an emotional response. In the simplest of terms, the work is a celebration of pure color and texture.

I believe that through focused intensive engagement while making a painting, it is possible to imbibe it somehow with a residue of spirit, an intangible essence that gives the work a sense of presence. This can be felt by a sensitive viewer and moves the work toward the realm of art, as opposed to decoration or craft. It’s a prospect worth pursuing with each and every painting.

My process is one of applying paint liberally, carving and digging back into it, and building up layers. Through this process of application and excavation I would say that I “find” a painting as much as “make” it. The whole time I am utterly engaged and letting my intuition be the primary driving force, although I am also using my training and experience to make hundreds and hundreds of decisions along the way as well. Openness and freedom are the key.

I know the work is done when I stand back and it hits me all at once as being resolved visually and having a strong sense of presence about it. In the end, I hope the work conveys something that is not so much experienced with the mind, as felt with the body…. in an intimate, visceral, and contemplative way.