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Like Friends, Long Known
Landscape Paintings by
Harry Orlyk
Image: Harry Orlyk and van Living in the moment...
"Sitting in the cold in a traditional way, I paint what is before me, sometimes as still as the Eskimo who earns his family’s meal by waiting and watching and thinking. He kills an animal; I make an image. We are linked together by our years of long studied views across a common land. I am so cold sometimes with the windows of my black Dodge van rolled up tight (I never turn on the engine once parked to paint, afraid of carbon monoxide). In a cold-induced trance, painting continues all by itself. Often the final dim presence of light exits while both hands are still at work and I do not know what I have made until the painting is brought into the light of a room."
Image: Process Process Orientation
"A quarter century of painting has been an act of the imagination to determine who and what I am with respect to the earth and sky. Process, rather than product oriented, searching for the daily painting, has become a way of living in relationship with the earth. To become a human being, a part of nature rather than someone separate observing it from the outside, like hunter-gathers, I am led from one opportunity to the next, being directed by seasonal stages. The relationship has become the trust I give it to show me where my next painting will be. Each painting entails facing a swath of creation and observing something of its story, becomes a long log of small truths."
Image: History History
Harry Orlyk was born in Troy, New York in 1947. In 1971 after graduating college, he went on to graduate school at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln . Over the next nine years, he was influenced by several Nebraskan artists. “Still-life painter Robin Smith taught me how to use paint without turpentine – to paint from the tube.” He also admits the influence of photographer Lawrence McFarland who taught him what spiritual space was, and how to emphasize it. Lastly he credits well-known Lincoln painter Keith Jacobshagen with having impressed on him the importance of routine. He currently resides with his family in Salem, New York, near the Vermont border.
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This exhibition is funded in part by the Student Association, Winkel Endowment, Friends of Art, and the State of New York
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Last Updated: September 13, 2012

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