The biological art forms of Robert Steven Connett

An interview regarding Connett’s artistic voyage.

Detailed drawings of Robert Steven Connett will engage you to the point where you will find yourself immersed in his intricate forms. As a self-taught artist, Connett currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California. He began drawing and painting as a hobby at the age of 27, and gradually after 25 years of art-making, he started his full-time art career.

The Californian embarked on his artistic career when he made the transition from art being a hobby into a full-time job. It was, in fact, a setback that propelled Connett to start his path towards a well-known and respected artist. “The loss of my home and all my art equipment to a fire in 1995 certainly served to push me in that direction,” said Connett. “Working on my art every day, even though it was at night as a hobby while I worked at a day job, eventually led me to the inescapable conclusion that I was not happy with my day work.”

Though it’s a struggle to be a full-time artist, Connett still acknowledges that he is much happier with his work than he was before he turned it into a profession. It’s the process of an artist that truly separates them from the rest. “I never really know what I will have until I get near the end. One thing builds upon another, and the painting grows with each session. That keeps it interesting for me all the way through,” revealed Connett. “The confidence builds as the painting builds. I enjoy my work immensely. However, I go through agonies and ecstasies before I get to the finish line.”

The artist finds ideas in for his work in various biological forms of diverse biota, micro and macro scale organisms, both terrestrial and aquatic. He uses acrylic paint to portray a dark world teaming with microscopic life. “I use acrylic paint because I like that it dries fast. I mix my paint with acrylic mediums to increase the gloss and translucency,” says the artist.

Connett maintains a standard throughout his final product in each of his work, aiming to leave the art to appear shiny and still moist as it is completed. He sustains the opaqueness and transparency of the painting by adding acrylic polymer mediums, varnish and glazes as he is developing his art. In his work you can find scary invertebrates, reptiles, tropical insects and plants, and even human-like faces, which all contain a warning colouration, reflecting the idea that something bizarre is going on. All of these creatures are recreated in a vibrant living environment.

“I paint things that enchant me, and I paint because I enjoy seeing my imagination come to life.”

Intricately detailed and richly colourful, their futuristic undertones depict disturbing, dreamlike scenarios. Each organism is rendered with excruciating detail, based on studies from his collection of specimens, books of scientific illustrations, and his imagination. Connett believes that each life form is designed to regenerate and evolve and that flora, fauna, and even non-living organisms can have an energy that can be considered as a form of life.

Each and every artist regularly become influenced by other artists that affect the work that they conceive, and Connett himself finds his creative spark by the art genres of New Contemporary, Pop-Surrealism and Fantastic Realism. “These genres have had an influence on my work during the past few decades. However, my style seems to be finding its own way. I’m not sure that my work still fits in with these categories.”

The Californian is continuing to grow and develop as an artist, along with his paintings. His work has provided him with a deeper insight into the world and himself. Each artist finds themselves defined by the work they do behind closed doors, and these are the moments in life that truly navigate a person’s sense of consciousness. “Creating art allows me many hours of silence in which I spend time in self-examination. Many hours spent alone helps me to think clearly. People find my work interesting and thought-provoking.”

“Making art has transformed me into a person who contributes ideas to the world. My artwork justifies my existence,” added Connett. “For me, this is the only area in my life worth exploring.”

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