Risk-taking, curiosity, intuition, problem-solving, physical engagement, spontaneity, abandon: these are among the elements that go into every abstract painting I create, elements that comprise what I refer to as a “spirit of play.” There are few guides to my process, particularly in its early stages, save perhaps a color relationship or gesture to explore. Habit dissolves while play takes center stage, allowing each painting to become an exploration of possibilities. My canvases measure in feet rather than inches, an expansive, open arena for artistic inquiry during which I employ a variety of mark-making tools (brushes, scrapers, rags) and seek novel color juxtapositions and harmonies. The absence of referential subject matter both reduces and increases the complexity of my work. On the one hand, I am not required to reproduce any degree of likeness, which seems to make my task easier as it allows me to focus on fundamentals like value, hue, composition, texture and form. On the other hand, without an external referent to guide my decision-making, everything is left for me to discover, an open-ended process of creating something from nothing. Such an approach is my current artistic preference: To look within, find something to grasp onto, and explore it to the fullest, permitting the painting to speak to me, to suggest what it next needs to become a unified whole.
KENNETH MARUNOWSKI: SPIRIT OF PLAY