Paintings

Craig Paul Nowak Art Piece of Me Painting

Piece of Me, 2006


Piece of Me is a self-portrait that I painted on 282 individual 4"x4" canvases. Each canvas was meant to represent a piece of myself while also being unique enough to be interesting individually. In order to make each canvas interesting, I etched self-reflective words into the background canvases, and I used unusual brush strokes, shapes, and mark making within the portrait part of the painting.



Craig Paul Nowak Painting Lucky Numbers Art

Lucky Numbers, 2010


Lucky Numbers was designed and intended to be the same conceptually, as my painting Piece of Me.



Craig Paul Nowak Painting and Video Epiphany

Epiphany, 2007


Epiphany is a 48"x48" black and white self-portrait on canvas with a black and white video inlay where the left eye would be. In that video, my eye moves around, looking this way and that way, and it only blinks twice. When my eye blinks the first time, the video turns to color. A second later, it blinks again and returns back to black and white.

In addition to the video, Epiphany has words etched into the background. Those words are culled from various sources, some of the words were mine, and many came from elsewhere. The sources I culled the words from were intentionally random. This was done in order to set up a metaphor.

That metaphor was this; you never know when inspiration might strike or where it might come from. One minute you could be lost, unable to figure something out. Then in a blink of an eye, as if out of nowhere, everything becomes clear. That is an epiphany, and that is the meaning of this painting.



Craig Paul Nowak Art Piece of Me Painting

Piece of Me, 2006


Piece of Me is a self-portrait that I painted on 282 individual 4"x4" canvases. Each canvas was meant to represent a piece of myself while also being unique enough to be interesting individually. In order to make each canvas interesting, I etched self-reflective words into the background canvases, and I used unusual brush strokes, shapes, and mark making within the portrait part of the painting.



Craig Paul Nowak Painting History 1

History I, 2008


History I is a self portrait painted on the covers of literal history books. The books were a set of general encyclopedias, and they were used for two reasons.

The first reason was to metaphorically express the idea that everything inside of us which is not occurring in the present must inherently have occurred in the past. The implication of this is that much of our identity is history. Who our ancestors are, where we come from, what we've done and how we've done it, all of those things make us into the person we are today.

the second reason is to show that there is no difference between one person and the next. Yes we are unique. Yes our cultures are important identifiers. But in the end, we are all human.



Craig PAul Nowak Painting I and I art

I And I, 2005


I painted I and I while I was struggling emotionally. I was having high highs and extremely low lows. I would slip in and out of suicidal thought, then later I would feel unstoppable. I knew there was something wrong with me.

My entire life I've been against medication. If I had a psychological problem, then I was determined to live with it or solve it on my own. A friend of mine however, was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He was prescribed opioids and began down a different path than the one I chose.

As a way of understanding my condition, I began to make art about what I suspected was wrong with me. This painting is one of the artworks I made. It is a self portrait set in stark darkness. My face is split down the middle, one side is warm and the other side is cold. For me, the warm colors in this painting represented the happiness of the highs I was feeling, and the cold represented the sorrowful and angry feelings I had during the lows.



Craig PAul Nowak Painting Portrait of sabrina nelson art

BWR - Portrait of Sabrina Nelson, 2016


I haven't always known where I was going as an artist. There have been several times in my life that I spent searching for answers. During those times, I did my best to live by advise that I received from Gilda Snowden. I suspect she wasn't the first to say it, but she was the first to say it to me.

She said, "Don't sit around and wait for inspiration to find you. Go find it. Make something every day, and if inspiration strikes while you're working then grab it and don't let go." I'm paraphrasing, but I mention that story because this painting was completed during one of those times.

I was lost and searching. I didn't know what to paint. Self-portraits weren't of interest, but I was inspired by Jessica Care Moore's Black Women Rock. The artists that perform alongside her are nothing short of amazing. This painting of the brilliant artist, Sabrina Nelson was one of my facorite paintings that came from that series. I can't say that it fits in with my work, but I am proud to say that I made it.



Craig Paul Nowak Painting Lucky Numbers Art

Lucky Numbers, 2010


Lucky Numbers was designed and intended to be the same conceptually, as my painting Piece of Me.



Craig Paul Nowak Painting and Video Epiphany

Epiphany, 2007


Epiphany is a 48"x48" black and white self-portrait on canvas with a black and white video inlay where the left eye would be. In that video, my eye moves around, looking this way and that way, and it only blinks twice. When my eye blinks the first time, the video turns to color. A second later, it blinks again and returns back to black and white.

In addition to the video, Epiphany has words etched into the background. Those words are culled from various sources, some of the words were mine, and many came from elsewhere. The sources I culled the words from were intentionally random. This was done in order to set up a metaphor.

That metaphor was this; you never know when inspiration might strike or where it might come from. One minute you could be lost, unable to figure something out. Then in a blink of an eye, as if out of nowhere, everything becomes clear. That is an epiphany, and that is the meaning of this painting.