Artist Statement

Larry Knapp in his Studio

About Larry Knapp, the Artist

In many of my paintings, I have chosen to paint animals as a bridge to communicating with the viewer. Animals are a logical subject for me as they have been such an integral part of my life from the very beginning. When I look back in time, I can recall having cats, turtles, ducks, dogs, rabbits, chipmunks, a crow, a rooster, pigeons, doves, a pheasant, a parrot, and finally, a horse.

I believe that animals are wondrous creatures that speak in a way that words never could. The subjects each have their own expression, their own mood, just as humans do. I employ constant experimentation to create movement, depth, and visual impressions that I hope are powerful and leave a lasting impression. I look upon nature and its creatures with an innocent eye, trying to see the natural world before man left upon it marks of pollution and encroachment. My ultimate goal is for the viewer to become immersed in the worlds I create.

As viewers experience my works, with the vibrant colors, the sometimes-abstract backgrounds, and dreamy landscapes, I want them to be transported to an individual dreamlike world. My wish is for them to journey with me to new destinations where words are not necessary to experience the joys and existential struggles of all life.

In keeping with my vision of nature, I hope that my paintings inspire a new group of eco-friendly individuals who are aware of how important the balance of life is for the entire planet. And, I want my viewers to realize what an awesome planet we share.

Painted Pets

The pets that we live with are more than just animals: they become our irreplaceable loved ones, and like members of our family. What could be a more memorable and long-lasting tribute to our furry friends than an original, creative oil painting of their one-of-a-kind image?.

Here is how the process works: I will spend several hours with you and your pet, getting to know the animal better. I like to get a sense of your pet’s personality, energy levels, attitudes, everything that will help me capture the spirit of your beloved companion.

During the course of this time, I will photograph the pet in a variety of casual, spontaneous looks, perhaps a few formal poses, and just general photos of your pet in their environment.

Using the information I’ve gathered, I carefully compose the portrait, bringing out the special features of you special friend. Using vivid colors and practiced techniques, I begin to put paint to the canvas.

Here is what you get:

What Inspires Me . . .

I am inspired by nature and nature’s elements. I create my art by using shapes or components from nature, not by painting them photo-realistically, or by producing a still life. I have been able to use my background as a graphic designer to translate what I see and feel into more of an impressionistic interpretation of nature’s innate beauty. I deconstruct the shapes of what I see into positive and negative values, constructing a fresh approach to the natural world that’s unique and different.

My goal is to give the subject of my paintings a life of its own and then draw the viewer into this world of beauty and innocence. My paintings are broken up into stark positive and negative shapes and layered with vibrant colors. As I paint, I begin to lose myself in my subject, painting with a bit of abandon, loving the feeling I get when applying paint to canvas, layering colors over colors and allowing the painting to evolve on its own.

I am further inspired by painting on large canvasses as this gives me the freedom to express my feelings not only in vivid colors without regard to scale, but also the ability to create a dreamlike world: dreamlike in the sense of nature before it was distorted, or even destroyed, by humankind.

In my studio, I find myself living in the moment. It is the kind of living and feeling that comes from a deep passion, love, and respect for nature’s awesome beauty.