There is an intimacy and honesty about the subjects oil painter Len Chmiel chooses, as if each painting were an expression of himself. He explains that he has a pretty good idea of who he is at this point in his life. “I used to try to control everything but now I allow my intuition to speak more. I try to stretch the truth of what the actual image is. I do paintings with recognizable subjects because I’m inspired by what I see, however, that is not my only intention.”
Chmiel works outdoors a great deal, taking trips to England, Scotland, Europe, Mexico, Guatemala, and Uruguay, as far away as Nepal and Thailand, and as close to home as his own backyard. He is fond of the Western US where he often fits in hunting excursions with his painting trips. When he returns to his studio, his small on the spot paintings often serve as the genesis for Chmiel’s larger compositions.
Chmiel maintains a truly open minded view of art. “What’s my definition of an artist? An artist has an opinion. If there’s no self, then there is no art. Look at Richard Diebenkorn or Gustav Klimt, they were excellent designers, they were all excellent technicians, very skillful, but they didn’t let that skill hinder their expression. Art is when you go beyond being a good craftsman and interject yourself. Conversely, you don’t have to be a great technician to get your viewpoint across. Van Gough is an example of that.”
Len Chmiel has had numerous sell-out one-man shows, and has been featured in Southwest Art Magazine, Business Week, Western Art Digest, and American Artists Magazine. His work is included in several books: ‘Len Chmiel: an Authentic Nature’, ‘Patrons Without Peer’, ‘art journey america: Landscapes’, ‘Contemporary American Oil Painting’ and ‘Freshen Your Painting With New Ideas’. Len’s paintings have been collected by museums and major corporations across the United States and can be seen in such prestigious shows as the Prix de West Invitational and now, The West Select.