Born in Medina, Ohio, Kim Zarney attended Syracuse University and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting and Printmaking from the Cleveland Institute of Art.
Zarney has worked as an illustrator, graphic designer and advertising agency creative director. Highlights of his marketing communications career include a London International Advertising award for retail packaging designed for Anchor Hocking Glass and Package Design Council International and International Brand Packaging awards for retail packaging designed for Little Giant Pumps line of Pondworks water garden products. As an illustrator, his work was accepted and displayed in three Society of Illustrators Annual Exhibitions in New York and included in the Society’s printed annuals.
As a full-time painter, Zarney has spent the past ten years developing and refining his monochromatic style. His contemporary expressions of the natural world are included in numerous public and private collections.
I enjoy the physical act of painting.
I also have an affinity for the unpretentious honesty reflected in preliminary sketches and studies. Simple, spontaneous gestures put down quickly to capture an idea, a feeling, the play of light, a shadow or a texture. Art pieces created or thought of as finished works. In many cases, they were never meant to be seen by anyone but the artist. They’re intuitive and very personal.
These physical and unscripted works have an abstract quality that’s void of details and extraneous colors. What’s left on the paper is the essence of the artist’s thoughts. To me, their aesthetic appeal is timeless. That’s how I approach my monochrome pieces. Not as direct renditions of my selected subject matter but as contemporary expressions of the natural world that leave room for interpretation.
Using water-soluble oils on coated paper and high-density synthetic panels, I work quickly to develop the initial layers of line, texture and tone. The versatility of this medium gives me the opportunity to work back through sections of wet or drying paint with brushes, sharpened twigs, rags, sponges, palette knives and my fingers.
Seen at a distance, or studied close-up for the graphic details, each finished painting invites the viewer to participate in the creative process. Nothing is hidden.