Nature, and by nature I mean to include man, is the subject of my painting. Landscape painting is the visual forum where I attempt to come to terms with the nature of all existence, most importantly my own. I seek to elicit powerful, primitive emotions from the viewer such as awe, tragedy, and ecstasy - emotions that arise from the depths when one stands in the mysterious and potentially threatening grandeur of nature. I define this experience as the sublime.

My artwork is a reaction against the prevailing values of American society. I feel the sublime experience is the antithesis of modernity and technology, which seeks to assert mankind's dominance over nature. I would argue that nature can never be controlled or replaced. I believe that sublime experience is the understanding of the fragile, impermanent space we occupy as part of nature, through which we come to understand our relationship with the world. By choosing to evoke the sublime through the liberating, creative act of making art, I seek to enter a protest against modernity and offer an important artistic contribution to this ongoing dialogue.

I choose to create monumental artworks with varied media to distill my own experience of nature. The media consist of sand, dirt, leaves, twigs, wax, and splattered paint - reflecting my interest in the material presence and metaphorical content that can arise from it. The spontaneity of the action painting allows my emotion to become a tangible presence in the work. In addition, I often burn or scar the surfaces of the paintings, which reflects my notion of the art making process as being comprised of both creative and destructive acts. Great things can happen in an open-ended art making process. Unexpected associations are discovered, new visions developed, and revelations experienced. To be sure, great things can also come of planning and systematic execution. I feel that the different approaches to art making are all viable and should be wholly embraced.

Further Information:





Image Gallery






Leonard Likas

4220 Solomons Island Rd.

St.Leonard, Maryland 20685 USA



Return to ART SMP Index