I decided to do a painting series on paper using a vertical format. Landscape, and seascape paintings are often created in a horizontal format. In photography “landscape” means horizontal. This isn’t to claim that my vertical paintings are unique. Hardly, they are another way for me to search for the ‘essence’ of Maine as expressed in the series: sky, land, sea, paintings. Vertical landscapes are a personal challenge, believing that I will be able to deliver fine work in a vertical format.
I believe that I’ve succeeded in doing a series in a vertical format, 30X22, that capture the advantage in doing paintings this way and I avoided the disadvantages. I kept in mind the same rules in my vertical painting that I intuitively employ in my horizontal paintings: that is, “the rule of thirds” and “focal point.”
When I completed the series I considered these generally accepted ‘rules’ when I happened to see the “2011 plank paintings” by Jason Middlebrook. My paintings are representative in character, his abstract. Middlebrook combines painting and sculpture in these “plank paintings.” I’m more comfortable when I can display my work in an expressionism manner. My abstract treatment in my work require close examination and viewer contemplation. I leave a mystery in each piece. I’ve left it “up to you” to decide what you want to make out of that part of the painting your eye has captured and your mind tries to unravel. It’s a challenge: introspection is asked.
I say that this ‘mystery’ I’ve left is the “essence” of Maine. For in these vertical paintings as in all of my Maine Landscapes and Seascapes paintings on my Maine series I declare loudly and decisively: “ I established as a goal for my paintings in Maine to seek to express Maine’s true essence. For I paint ‘Maine’ as unforgiving, the land, sea and sky as uncompromising, demanding your daily awareness, and testing your ability to live with nature as a constant in your life. A reviewer commented: ‘These works all seem to have a topological quality but with an expressionist feel. There is an underlying force—sort of a life force—in many of these pieces. The pieces seem alive, on the verge of change, as it seems to be the case for the land, sea and sky of Maine. Salazar’s treatment of Maine ‘landscapes’ with innovative techinquies gives his work a real dynamism.’”