For Easton artist Robert Brennan, painting and creating sculptures is a "need."
"I don't think it's a sick compulsion...but I think there's some people that need to make things and do things with their hands. Art just happens to be the way I found for myself," said the former art teacher as he sat surrounded by a few of his proudest pieces at his exhibit at the Easton Library .
"I never tire of it and when I go into my studio, there's a whole different feeling I have. There's a whole different mental state and I don't think about anything other than what I'm involved in."
Brennan, who taught at Darien High School, Benjamin Franklin Junior High in Norwalk, New Britain, University of Bridgeport and Jersey State University, said his own college courses at Southern Connecticut opened his eyes up to the art world. Before then, he had never taken formal art classes.
"That's when I realized what I wanted to do with my life. Up until then I think I wanted to be a car mechanic or something like that."
Brennan doesn't like to label what he does, but he describes his work as "abstract" and somewhere between that of a painter and a sculptor. A series of some of his three-dimensional pieces are on display at the library, one of which earned him first place out of about 900 artists at a New York City exhibit in 2008.
"This takes care of my need to construct and to build things and I love to do that with my hands and to kind of visualize what will happen when I stretch this canvas over these pieces," he said. "That's always intriguing to me."
His sculptures and paintings can easily be considered abstract, but that is a label Brennan enjoys because his work can be interpreted in so many ways.
"I never expect to have anyone have the exact same feeling when they come up to a painting or even interpret it like I do," he said. "These are very abstract pieces and one of the beauties of abstraction, in my view, is that it's really open to personal interpretation and there's no way to avoid that anyway. Even if I said that I wanted everyone to respond the way I do, they won't."
Brennan's exhibit, "Abstractions: The Search for Form" will be on display and for sale in the library community room until Nov. 6. Call Robert Brennan at 203-261-5968 for more information.
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