It is only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know.
— Henry David Thoreau —
I usually begin a new painting with random brush strokes of color, then work unpredictably and intuitively, responding to the rhythm of the music and the direction the painting suggests to me. My most recent work is about the thrill of exploring and experimenting with a variety of methods of applying acrylic color on raw canvas, taking big risks and looking for new combinations that I've never done before. What excites my interest is – to "see what would happen if..."
At other times it appears that the painting already knows what it wants and the duty of the artist is to listen, surrender, watch and most of all trust. One of my teachers once said to me "your brushes are very smart, why don't you let them do the work?" This is the secret of "letting go."
For me painting is like an intense compulsion motivated by the love of the process itself, allowing me to become more comfortable with uncertainty and unpredictability which opens up a whole world of new possibilities.
Painting fast and spontaneously has been extremely beneficial:
- It helps me to accomplish more with the least effort, and yet allows me to evolve and grow with renewed trust and confidence.
- It encourages my mind to be quiet and temporarily stops its judgmental tendencies, relinquishing my attachment to any imagined result.
- It helps me lose all concern for the approval of others and their criticism.
This process clears the way so as to become a clear vessel; that which welcomes the creative energy of the universe to come through with enthralling rhythms and patterns that connects us all.
Bringing to life the tradition of abstract expressionism, Jonas Gerard emerged into the contemporary art scene in the 1970's with work that has evolved into a compelling explosion of color. Influenced by the great contemporary Masters, such as Willem DeKooning, Jackson Pollock, Hans Hoffman, and Franz Kline, Gerard has found his own voice of abstraction.
Jonas believes in the art of true expression. He has extensively explored other representational styles, but it is his abstracts, with the absence of subject matter, that have fulfilled him and have been the most highly regarded over time. In his current work, one can feel the passion these paintings evoke. His intuitive, joyful and spontaneous manner is at the very core of his life as a painter. These splashes of color create lively compositions not easily forgotten. It is this spirit, energy, and dedication that have brought him national attention.
"For me, freedom of expression creates happiness which is in the pulse of every brush stroke. The freedom to express produces inner sensations that allow my spirit to take risks. I create happy accidents that open the non-judgmental space for letting the painting go where it wants to go. The whole concept is to allow energy to direct you."
Color, form and texture dancing spontaneously across the canvas awakens all the senses and charges every painting with its own spirit. The work has vitality and energy as well as a subliminal healing power known only to a receptive heart. Jonas lives true to his belief that spirituality has to be the very essence of pure abstract art. Without it, abstract art is lifeless.
Watching Jonas' process of trusting his intuition is a captivating experience. While rhythmic music plays in the background, he becomes completely absorbed in expressing what is in his heart with a gestural painting style that appears almost as a spontaneously choreographed dance. To the viewer, it may seem that the painting is done by the music itself while the artist is simply holding the brush. However, the years of dedication to this trust allows an artistic integrity to flow through his work.
Gerard's work has been exhibited all over the United States and abroad, and is in numerous collections, including the Smithsonian Institution, World Bank, Siemens Energy, Worldwide Nissan, Price Waterhouse, and Sassoon Fashions, among others.