75+ Years of Making Art
“We feel so privileged to own paintings by Victor Steven Rosenberg. He tells stories through his artistry. Depending on lighting, our paintings tell us a vivid new story every day! His use of dramatic color provides a focal point for our guests to engage in and enjoy.”
Eadie and John G., Arizona
Many years ago as an artist, I discovered through painting different stylistic nuances that a lifetime of work could be based on. This is what most artists do. Artists find a stylistic niche and repeat it over and over, i.e. ninety nine shades of the same color. The academic art community, both art makers and buyers, operate in this circle of reality. This is the clever way. And usually the financially rewarding way.
But instead of falling into the trap of repeating myself over and over, which ends up in slick surfaces without substance, I chose, many years ago, to be honest especially with myself in this world of 'The Emperor's Clothes'. I chose 'the path least traveled', never getting stuck or falling into the trap of becoming a 'hollow artist and man'. It certainly is not a recipe for becoming a rich artist, though.
There is a stylistic connection to all that I create, but it is not on purpose. It is natural. Natural style and true substance. I am always exploring and discovering through paint, pen, pencil, brushes, and materials. Every time I face the surface to paint or draw something new, it is like the first time. No stylistic crutches. Always a beginner's mind.
My subject matters are landscapes, shamanic figures, animals, the cosmos, and the power I find in the land that reflects this beautiful place on earth. I’ve been called a visionary, but it’s not true…I’m an explorer. The adventure of art for me is to discover, through materials, a way to bring a new and different eye to an everyday idea, to re-create nature not just copying or imitating what is seen, but by making visible what is not yet seen, discovering the unknown waiting below the surface where the paint talks to me and hopefully to you.
For example, take a Yaqui Deer Dancer or a Mountain Landscape. To a certain degree I paint the way a Yaqui Deer Dancer appears however, my emphasis is to reach for the essence, the magic, the transformation, the unseen, the natural blending with the supernatural.
Although, I know I always fall short of the mark, I leave a record of my exploring, reaching, and aiming. My goal is not to paint a picture but rather to paint a window into a universe often obscure from everyday eyes.
"One of the best artists, I have ever known."
Sometimes I start with painting a very graphic image of the land, a person, an animal. Then, I negate the obvious to separate, distinguish, define, and discover. I don’t seek because seeking implies one knows the image sought. Instead, I eventually discover a vision, an essence, a secret waiting below the surface. I paint until a little voice says, “Whoa! Take a look, Victor. It’s Father Kino." "It’s an angel."
Then, if it calls for it, I refine and tighten the image, bringing the work into focus. Now the paint is talking. But words are not enough. The painting must have a resonance, a depth that goes beyond words or pictures. An 'X' Factor. Then the work can leave the studio.
"The greatest natural painter I've ever met."
Paul Heald, Seattle artist
Making art for me is an act of wonderment and wonder is a large part of my religion. Within that wonder is the seat of my humility and having a relationship with the Creator.
"[This wonder] is what makes you a great artist.
I always enjoy seeing your work ."
Elizabeth T-S, Artist, Mexico
The Environments That Helped Shape My Art
I attended the Cornish School of Fine Arts in Seattle, WA, which unzipped the outer shell of my family’s traditions and expectations. The Northwest became the foundation for my journey as an artist. I painted in a variety of places from a house on Capitol Hill in Seattle close to where I went to art school, to a storefront close to downtown Seattle, to an old farmhouse in Skagit Valley without heat and many broken windows, to a waterfront studio/gallery in La Conner. In the Northwest my palette was limited, mostly blacks, grays, off-whites, and earth reds. I painted in the Northwest for 8 years.
While visiting the Sonoran Desert in 1989, I heard the desert call me. I’ve been painting in the Southwest now for over 30 years. The Southwest, in particular the Sonoran Desert, has been a powerful muse for me, influencing my art through osmosis, flowing through me, offering its essence which becomes my vision, and helping me celebrate color in my work.
Northwest By Southeast By Southwest
Artists Who Have Influenced My Work
Artist Influencer: Chaim Soutine
"As a young artist in my formative years, dozens of painters in the past influenced me. As time went by those influences sink back into the subconscious and only when you dig deep into the history of the artist will you see those influences as subtle as that may be. "