“Since 2000, I’ve worked in 13 studios spread across five different states, both indoor and outdoor, ranging from urban, to coastal, to desert. There is a point of no return in each move that I’ve found myself in an unfamiliar studio space with a pile of unpacked boxes. I often alter or destroy the unfinished wet projects after they’ve moved. My studio becomes its own microcosm with its own cycle of life – the leftovers, the scraps from one piece of work are ‘composted’ back into the next, creating a rich foundation for re-growth.
My body of work has splintered in different directions and into different styles, but derives from a central common core. For years, I have been editing and re-working paintings and sculptures. In most cases, I keep a ghost image, chunks of material, or collaged media, which I mummify under heavy impastos of oil paint. If an in-progress work of art lies sedentary or neglected for a long period time, I scrape off and salvage what I can for the next artwork in line for production.
I want the viewer to experience both the physical topography and the color intensity. I want to draw attention to the process, execution, and importance of the medium itself. I strive not to create representational work – It takes focus away from the medium. When mixing mediums, my emphasis is on experimentation, failure and rebirth. I gather different combinations of metal, paint, studio sweepings, paper, fabric and wood scraps, allowing me to produce a steady evolution of abstract objects. The consistency and color of the finished pieces resemble a melting pot of heavily encrusted paint palettes, alien planet surfaces, and decorative cake frosting. Ultimately, it is important to me that each piece possess structural integrity, evidence of process, awareness of art history, and a sense of place, journey and time.”
Ross Sheehan graduated cum laude with a BFA from Syracuse University in 2000. After relocating to New York City, his work shifted from an illustrative or narrative style, to a more experimental, abstract platform. He earned a certificate in Technical Art Handling from the Bronx Council on The Arts in 2004. He has lived, worked, and exhibited in New York, NY, Jersey City, NJ, Reno, NV, San Francisco, CA, Burlington, VT and Florence, Italy. In 2012, Ross earned his certification in Structural Welding from the Advanced Welding Institute in South Burlington, VT. That same year, he founded Outerlands Gallery, Inc., a contemporary art gallery in downtown Vergennes, VT. In 2016, the gallery was converted into his painting and printmaking studio, and remains open to the public. His art is part of many private, and several institutional collections nationwide. He was a finalist for the Seven Days 2014 ‘Best Visual Artist’ in the state of Vermont. Ross currently lives and works in Burlington and Vergennes, VT.