Discover the Masterpieces of Michael L. Sirken


Is Art for Naught?
I go to the attic
To find my line art
Of charcoal and pencil
I drew with my heart.
Two decades past
In a college class
Nude models posed
Both lad and lass.
I do not expect
To encounter them all.
If memory serves well,
They’re not on my wall.
It was a fit
As my professor had his
That I tossed most out
Because I judged them a miss.
But his were poems,
Gone two score ago.
What was the reason
He was his own foe?
He deemed my poems
Not memorable, I recall.
”But who am I to say?”,
He queried, casting a pall.
The attic is hot;
All art has worth.
My search is just
For the crust of the earth.

A Birthday Poem: Nature’s Laws
Gravity at work
Towards the center
Go all things,
Living and not;
Only our souls
Make the final destination.
‘Twas a life
Of aspirations, dreams
Burning like a campfire
Below a starlit night.
Now, I wake, 6am,
To this weight,
“This mortal coil”.
No, I am a rectangular form
Of earthly color
Falling untethered
In an abstract painting-
Pulled by forces
I cannot stop…
Until I stop
Melded into time and space.
I am like a cup of coffee
Finding its temperature equilibrium
And then lies still.

Artistic Statement

My 2013-2015 paintings, mostly oil on canvas, are abstract with an emphasis on mathematics in their construction and visual presentation. The artist’s knife is mostly used because of the textured qualities rendered by it. In compositions, particular attention has been paid to negative space. The paintings are mostly 2-dimensional. Conic sections are a significant part; so, the circle, ellipse, hyperbola, and parabola are ever-present, including parts of these sections.

Other geometric figures such as the square and rectangle are employed. Lines and curves are never painted in and of themselves, but rather they are presented as boundaries of regions only. The predominant colors are black and white; however, the richness of the color spectrum is explored.

Algebraic geometry was employed in the planning and sketching of some paintings. Equations were formulated by inductive reasoning so as to produce desired visual results. Others are planned. Points are plotted that are solutions to the equations. Voila! Conic sections appear.

Lines, curves, conic sections, etcetera appear in the real world. Therefore, each painting may resemble a different reality to each individual observer. Additionally, the rotation of each painting may produce a different reality or even a “better” view. I admit there are rotations to some paintings I prefer equally. As entertainment, viewers may enjoy giving names to these paintings in all 4 positions; one position might evoke more than one name. Furthermore, one might consider the name you pick as a Rorschach Inkblot Test of your current state of mind.

Finally, it is my personal belief that abstract painters enjoy this freedom of expression because it harnesses unconscious feelings/ideas as well as conscious ones.

My 2013-2014 drawings are primarily realistic in nature. They are done in extra-soft charcoal pencil and derived principally from personal photographs. Other tools include white charcoal pencil, soft charcoal pencil, #2 pencil, and pastels. They are done on Strathmore drawing paper of medium surface.

The drawings measure a little less than 10.5 inches high by 13.5 inches wide. I have picked photographs that I deemed interesting in composition and/or important to me on a personal level. “Leaving Port” is impressionistic because it was derived from a photograph from a misty lens.

In conclusion, I have endeavored to produce a body of work to give substance to it.

These 2016 works are an exploration of formed gesso on canvas and then painted over with 2 coats of gloss white acrylic. The finished work has an aspect of relief sculpture.

These 2016 paintings are an exploration of non-curvilinear shapes formed by taping; once the tape is removed, the vacated areas are an integral part of the composition. Though the shapes are precise in their geometry, many are painted with a “rainbow” conception. That is, some follow the pattern of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Additionally, unpredictable colors are formed by the sometimes “chaotic” approach. This process has been motivating for the artist. Some shapes have earth-toned colors; they seem to block the “rainbows” behind which leads to a sense of depth and sometimes optical illusions.

These 2016-2019 paintings generally employ some combination of interior house paint, exterior house stains, acrylics, peeled paints, sand, and gesso. Most of them have been executed in my garage during warmer weather. Numerous techniques are employed including: pouring paint, throwing paint, brushing taped areas, using gravity to intermingle paints, and make different colors and squeezing paint out of plastic ketchup bottles.

Recently, I have finished larger works: 5 feet by 4 feet or 2 panels 5 feet by 4 feet. In fact, one abstract submission to a contest is 5 feet by 4 feet and is called “City By Wooded River.”