From as early as I can remember I have found a special contentment being in nature. While growing up, my father would bring our family camping each summer to national parks and other beautiful spots across the US and Canada. I cherish my memories of those trips especially the times sitting by a campfire, warm and safe, in the mysterious stillness of the forest.
Those moments have shaped who I am and influence my art today. Much of the source material for my work comes from photos taken on hikes around the woods and shoreline near my home in Saugatuck Michigan. I record whatever captures my notice and I use these images or a composite of images as a reference for my paintings. I am drawn to shapes and the rhythm of shapes, color and light, and the scale and mood that I find in nature. While painting I am making decisions about the interconnection of shapes, the texture of the surface, the movement of the brush strokes and marks on the canvas. The patchwork of colors created by sunlight filtered through tree branches is of particular interest to me.
I have recently started painting urban scenes which are representative of my years living in Chicago. Like my landscapes, these paintings portray a quiet tranquility and introspection amid the hustle of the city.
As an artist, I explore and discover new ways to connect with the viewer a shared sense of serenity, whether found in a natural or urban setting.
Drawn to the effects of being outdoors, Edward Rebek creates paintings centered on color, light, rhythm, shape, and scale found in the serenity of nature. Whether hiking around the woods and shoreline near his home in Saugatuck, Michigan, or recounting years spent living in the bustling city of Chicago, Rebek ultimately aims to transfer the tranquility of these ordinary moments into painting.
Often as if squinting your eyes, Rebek’s paintings, with their rhythmic brushstrokes, interconnecting shapes, and textural surfaces, provide a simplified patchwork of colors directed by sunlight. A deep-seated nostalgia for childhood camping trips sitting around a warm fire in the midst of a still forest come through Rebek’s process, communicating his lasting “special contentment” for being outside.
Edward Rebek received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Northern Illinois University in 1982. For over 30 years, Rebek has worked as the owner and creative director of Chicago-based package design firm, JOED Design. Starting in 2008 and continuing to the present, Rebek has enrolled in a series of workshops, seminars and retreats with Richard Kooyman, a painter and instructor in rural, Kaleva, Michigan.
Bachelor of Fine Art, Northern Illinois University, IL
"COLLECTIVE", LaFontsee Galleries 30th Anniversary show, Grand Rapids, MI
"Perception & Intention", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI
"Reverie", University Club of Chicago, Chicago, IL
"Continuity", Water Street Gallery, Douglas, MI
ARTS-RELATED EXPERIENCE & RESIDENCIES
Advanced Oil Painting, Richard Kooyman Outdoor Workshop
Painting the Landscape in Oil, Richard Kooyman Outdoor Workshop
1200 Sheets of Paper, Richard Kooyman Non Representational Drawing Workshop
The Structure of the Visual Moment, Outdoor Intensive with Stuart Shils
Plein Air Painting Retreat with Parke and Kooyman