David Prokowiew Realist Painter


Biographical Information and Artist's Statement


David Walter Prokowiew is a self-taught artist living in the sleepy town of Lunenburg, Massachusetts. He grew up in a large family of eleven children in the then bucolic town of Sudbury, Massachusetts. His interest in art was evident in early childhood when he built his own easel at the age of seven and recycled an old sample case found at the dump, filling it with tubes of oil colors and canvases purchased one at a time, attempting majestic scenes of towering mountains he'd never seen. His childhood wanderings led him along the old stone walls, deep woodlands and ragged marshes of New England where he would find beauty in the peace and quiet of forgotten places. Later, his love of the outdoors led him to the White Mountains, where he and friends would enjoy hiking and real back-country camping. Raised with a do-it-yourself work ethic, he enjoys learning new skills such as wood-working, knitting and wood-strip and composite boat building, completing a sail boat including sewing the sails and hand crafting the spars.

His early art education was focused on graphic design, enrolling in the Commercial Arts program at Minutman Technical High School in Lexington, MA, where he was encouraged to continue his artistic journey. However, bowing to family pressure, he continued his education in business, graduating college with a degree in Marketing while working full-time and teaching himself the languages of the Internet at night. He spent 15 years as a free-lance web developer, pleased to find a business function that required some skills in artistic creativity. After running a successful business for over a decade, becoming a stay-at-home father gave him the opportunity to shift gears again, and return to fine art with vigorous intent.

A hope that he has something to offer in the world of art, along with an appreciation for the challenges and strides of the modern realists, especially the work being done by the so-called "new luminists", has brought David back to his true passion- painting. Today, he spends much of the summer and autumn months in various parts of Maine with his family, where he finds endless inspiration in the ever-changing character of classic New England landscapes and seascapes. He seeks artistic growth by building relationships with other artists and participating in workshops, associations and shows.

As a fine artist, I believe in following the creative process in thought and execution. Therefore, my process usually begins in the field, or at a state of rest in the studio with the mental and physical collection of ideas and reference materials- thinking, observing, sketching (note taking) and photographing. From there, I will develop a thumbnail sketch through variations, working out any problems with design, focus or concept, and finally I will either perfect a final sketch and transfer it to canvas, or in the field, simply start sketching and blocking in. I will work the scene until I have conveyed the original intent of the piece. As a technician, I am focused on developing an intimate knowledge of my materials and finding ways to bend them to my will. In practical terms this takes the form of modifying manufactured goods, oil colors and canvas for instance, until I can use them the way I want or until they serve my needs for a specific purpose. As an example, when I'm painting en plein air, I will use a canvas off the shelf, but usually tone it and condition it with transparent color and medium. In the studio, I will layer acrylic gesso on my panels for marine paintings, sanding between thin coats until I have a smooth surface allowing me to achieve greater detail and effects of light in the subject. My artistic goals are constantly shifting, but currently, I'm trying to achieve a sense of realism that demonstrates an adept ability to capture the light of a scene with accuracy and inspiration, while maintaining a painterly quality that does not appear photographic. I believe this is the best way for me to convey the beauty I find in nature, and I strive to bring more maturity to my handling of the design and materials in my work.

I believe one of my greatest accomplishments as an artist so far was the sale of a painting to an old sailor who helped bring the schooner Ernestina (Ex. Effie M. Morrissey) back to New Bedford years ago when she was returned home as a gift from the people of Cape Verde. He said he saw the ship in my painting and was reminded of his time with her, but then he got lost in the rolling of the ocean waves and had to see it every day. The thought that someone could find a sense of joy in something I created is enormously gratifying. I paint because it presents a constant challenge to me mentally, physically, emotionally and philosophically, it brings me to new highs and lows every day and inspires me to continue the chase.

David Prokowiew Realist Painter

733 West Street, Lunenburg, MA 01462 978.343.2498 david.prokowiew@gmail.com