Kinetic, layered and graphic elements is how Boulder-based artist Bill Snider describes his work that can be viewed at Art & Soul Gallery on Pearl Street and even in several galleries in New Zealand, where he spends part of the year. With Bill Snider Studios in two parts of the world, “everything” can be a source of inspiration.
Describe the evolution of your art practice in your own words?
As far back as I can remember I’ve liked making things. Building model airplanes but putting the parts in places that weren’t in the instructions. In college, the focus was on sculpture, kinetic sculpture and now the paintings are a combination of all that.
They’re flat but the process is more akin to sculpture than traditional painting technique, and I’m still putting things in places that are unexpected … I hope.
How would you describe your signature style and use of color? Would you say it is abstract and if so, has it always been this way or have there been dramatic changes over the years?
Graphic, kinetic, layered …. this is what makes up the basic style, what pulls the viewer in. I do what is considered a painting but they could also be thought of as flat sculptures because they have depth, painted sides and a finish unlike most paintings. The evolution has been in complexity. More layering which creates a greater sense of depth. A more balanced image that integrates the various components into a unified piece more so than when I started.
What is your process when starting a new piece?
There probably aren’t many methods that are unique. Artist are always building on someone else’s style and I’m part of that when it come to images. My process is a bit out of the ordinary. It involves sawing, hammering and sanding – not your usual painting terms. I build my own panels from lumber yard materials and use paint that comes from the hardware store. I build up layers of paint and then sand most of it off; leaving marks and shading that would be hard to create with a brush. These steps are often repeated until the overall background comes to life. Next, more graphic elements are added … metal, painted numbers and hard edge circles and shapes that are in contrast with the background. Between most of the layers I add a clear coat so that once completed the piece has a smooth, almost glazed surface. Not what one would expect from something that looks very rough.
From where do you draw your inspiration?
Tell us the origins of Bill Snider Studios?
I actually was a fine arts major at CU. After graduation and living in Denver and later Aspen, I was on a pretty good trajectory doing sculpture work, mostly kinetic pieces. Then I became involved in a short film project which morphed into a 30-year career. I guess one could say that I went from kinetic sculpture to kinetic images. Thirty years of looking through a camera lens can stockpile a lot of images. Those images, in a more abstracted form, started to pour out 12 years ago when I hung up my camera. The work I’m doing now is a reflection of that moving spinning world. I also like the idea of the paintings having some entertainment value.
Exactly when and where did it begin? I’m not sure, seems like it’s always been a part of me.
Like a lot of artists, working on developing a consistent style is always a goal and a challenge.
I want to keep a recognizable look from one piece to the next and wrap it together with a type
of execution and craftsmanship that I find engaging….. and hopefully others will as well.