Andrew Polk

Working Referentially - Part 1

As a child, I discovered if I worked at it, I could “draw” better than most people. I would occasionally use my rendering skills to impress and entertain others, but this wasn’t something I usually enjoyed doing because it was too difficult.

As a teen, I did a few ‘successful’ landscapes, but rendering nature was exasperating for me. I loved being out in nature, but nothing I could draw or paint had the full power and beauty of what I was trying to portray. Besides, there were more exciting things than making art: being a local rock star, learning about girls, learning about life.

As a young adult, I discovered art could be about exploring the unknown, reaching for something that no one had done before. I found that it was not simply about reproducing what was seen. This discovery was an epiphany, and it marked the point when I knew I wanted to make art-making my career.

I am 71 now, and I have made hundreds (thousands?) of artworks, worked through many different styles and directions, and exhibited worldwide. But not until recently have I had the desire to depict referentially from the actual world.

Why have I now returned to the approach previously disregarded at the beginning of my career?