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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Washington Voices

Conquering mediums

Local artist refuses to stick to one art form

Jennifer Larue

Chris Komski, 27, doesn’t care what he’s doing, as long as it has something to do with art.

“In every aspect of my life, art is present. It’s figuring out the next problem, learning that next technique, chasing the ideas,” he said. “Art drives me to my next project, drops me off, and says, ‘I’ll see you next time.’ I just go where it takes me.”

He’s a candle lit at both ends, but he doesn’t seem to mind. Whether he’s inventing something, composing songs, drawing, painting or working with wood or metal, he is content. “I love seeing the fruits of my time and effort transform into life.”

Komski grew up in Alaska. His first paid artistic endeavor happened at 14 when he painted a mural on the wall of a day care. In high school, he and some friends initiated a screen-printing class. After high school, Komski hit the road with a suitcase and a guitar, picking up jobs here and there to support his travels that included stays in Florida, New Jersey and Oklahoma. During a stay in California, he recorded some of his songs, sharing observations in lyric form: “Seven times out of 10, I connect the lines to feel connected more than enough to admit we conceal, consume, connect, conflict it” and “life shouldn’t be so hard, everything I know is to smile and love and just to laugh as we go.”

Komski’s life is a lump of clay that he constantly shapes, filling every moment with new creations and new directions. In 2006, he moved to the Spokane area where he spent some time as a child. A couple of years ago, he settled into a home in Spokane Valley, got a drafting table and began focusing on art. By day, he works at a large format digital printing company in Hillyard. The rest of the time, he makes stuff.

Komski’s itinerary includes spending two days a week as an apprentice for a local guitar builder as well as painting, carving and building industrial looking frames for art. Three years ago, he began Just Canvas, supplying artists with his handmade stretched canvases. He has artistic inventions sitting on his shelves, kept under wraps until they are legally protected. His ultimate goal is to be self-employed.

Throughout his home, projects wait for completion, including the six blank square canvases suspended by chains and contained within a wood frame. “A big aspect of my art is how I mount it,” he said.

His materials and mediums include acrylic paint mixed with gesso for texture, ink, charcoal, masking tape, canvas, paper, brushed aluminum, the occasional drop of blood and recording equipment. His final products are a mix of abstract and realism, sharp and random splashes of paint, psychedelic drawings in black-and-white and bright colors, minimalistic and industrial, and deeply intricate and organic. Komski embraces every facet of art.

“My inspiration comes from within,” he said. “It’s an extension of myself.”

The Verve is a weekly feature celebrating the arts. If you know an artist, dancer, actor, musician, photographer, band or singer, contact correspondent Jennifer LaRue by email at
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