Henry Rowland began painting in the late 60's. He studied fine art painting and photography at The Corcoran School of Art in Washington D.C. in 1970-71 and won First Prize in the Contemporary Abstract Painting category in 1971. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Colorado in 1978 where he continued studying fine art but also studied music, production and film making. This sparked a career in the arts, which has lasted to this day.
His paintings have found homes in private collections in Washington D.C., London, New York and Paris. His earlier works were mostly oil and acrylic on canvas. In the 90's, Rowland began experimenting with oils on harder surfaces, such as poster board and masonite. You can see a portion of this collection online at www.henryrowland.com
Rowland states, "As a painter, I have always been primarily interested in abstract surrealist painting. I was profoundly inspired by the Chilean master Roberto Matta, who’s paintings seemed to me like gateways to other dimensions in both the figurative and psychological sense. I became fascinated at how working with paint textures and layers allows images to seemingly emerge from the canvas—where forms, shapes and faces seem to appear from the shadows, like images we sometimes see in clouds. Anyone familiar with Matta's works knows how intriguing, mysterious, and evocative those surreal images are. For me, working with abstract and surreal painting is more about connecting with the imagination and the unconscious than the literal. Lately, I am fond of using “space and luminosity” as a metaphor for freedom, and exploring “depth and shadow” as a metaphor of our quest to find it."
"My newest work is working directly with light—making paintings onto "digital film" instead of a canvas and "painting" with various light sources. I paint large high resolution images with light using a DSLR camera.
The light paintings are done with real light sources, adjusting exposure, focus, depth of field and thereby creating layers and compositions—exactly analogous to painting with paint, i.e., the same as working ground, layers, strokes and color painted on canvas like I was mixing colors on a palate. This produces a genuine painting, albeit one executed with light, that yields those same layers, tones, movement, lines and compositional aspects that I'd get with brushes.
Each photo painting allows me to shape the light and magic that resides in everyday settings, to bring out qualities otherwise invisible.