Artist Josh Schoemaker

Abstract art is for people who can’t do real art.

That’s a sentiment that artist Josh Schoemaker will tell you is a common misconception.

“The attention to detail, the composition and aesthetics involved in my abstract painting only come from years of exploring as well as skills acquired from years of drawing classes, still life and figure, realism painting and sculpture,” he said. “I chose the path of abstract expressionism to create with no inhibitions. And a lot of times abstract art is far more mentally challenging and more emotionally rewarding to me than painting a sunset or a portrait.”

Josh Schoemaker in his home workspace // photos Jenice Johnson Williams

When walking into the East Plano resident’s home, you can tell right away there is more to his art than just what you see at a quick glance. The Japanese ink circles, blocks of color and clean lines capture the eye but upon closer look, the vibrant shapes have texture and paper-torn edges. Josh uses Japanese paper that he hand dyes and adheres to every piece, which creates depth. Called Zen painting, each of Josh’s works of art is full of thick and thin strokes of black ink and markings — a technique used by artist Robert Motherwell who inspired his art.

“I remember the exact moment. I was in art history class, my freshman year. I was sitting by an upper-class art student waiting for the class to start. I looked over and remember seeing a book stacked on top of his class book,” Josh recalled from his days at Abilene Christian University. “I was immediately drawn to it. The contrast, composition, ink blots and strokes working together that made this emotional form, without representing anything in particular. I had never seen anything like it.”

From that point on he began researching Robert Motherwell and discovered he was a part of the American Abstract Expressionism movement. Josh began to study, learn and define his own style of expressionism. He pursued traditional printmaking as one of his focuses in college. He said he doesn’t even remember a time he wasn’t drawing, painting or doing something that involved art.

Currently Josh is a graphic designer by day, working as senior art director at JCPenney’s corporate headquarters in Plano. Born and reared in Irving, Josh moved to East Plano with Kim, his wife of 17 years, and their two kids Kensey, 11, and Taylor, 17, in August. Josh said he enjoys living close to historic downtown Plano and within walking distance of Oak Point and Bob Woodruff Parks.

“After work I spend time with my family and paint into the night. Needless to say, I don’t watch a lot of television. Art is my pastime, it’s where I reflect, meditate, create and just be,” he said. “I am blessed that I had such a supportive family growing up that always encouraged me.”

Color Envy, a work by Josh Schoemaker

Josh sells his art at gallery shows and online. An exhibit at Komali in Dallas resulted in the restaurant buying the entire exhibit, and it motivated him to dive even deeper into making art his career.

“Painting is a good reminder to savor each moment and enjoy the journey,” Josh says.

Josh’s solo exhibit, “Carbon & Fiber,” will show at Ten 20 Gallery in downtown Plano from March 17 through April 1. The public is invited to an opening reception on March 17 at 7 p.m.

Art by Josh Schoemaker >   Exhibit at Ten 20 Gallery >


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