Bob Grignaffini talks Zygmund Jankowski

As we enter our third year, we continue to feel lucky to be surrounded and nurtured by so many talented individuals, particularly our member artists, and would like to share this good fortune with you.

So, in a series of occasional blog posts, we're handing the soapbox to a member artist, and asking each one to talk briefly about an artist who's had a profound influence on them. 

Zygmund Jankowski, Gloucester Landscape, oil on masonite, 1986, a painting similar to the one described below; collection of the Cape Ann Museum. There are many paintings thrown into the stew that feed my inspiration.  One that comes to mind at the moment is a piece by Zygmund Jankowski, Gloucester (Adam and Eve).

This work is always with me on some level.  Often it is hidden beneath other layers of accumulated ingredients.  Whenever I am feeling rigid with my painting (just going through the motions), all of a sudden Zygs' painting will rise up through my memory as if I am seeing it for the first time. Then the illusion of boundaries disappear and I am quickly able to create again.

This piece tells me that it is possible to be in a complete state of bliss when communicating with paint.  It is said that any creation is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.  I only partly agree.  For it is possible, and necessary to carry that initial spark of inspiration like a prayer through all that “perspiration”.  If this can be accomplished, the work will have the beauty that called out in the first place, in every stroke of the brush.  Otherwise, what is being created will resemble a story told in a monotone voice. 

Bob Grignaffini, Saxonville,  oil on canvas. 

Zygs' Gloucester succeeds in showing me this lesson. The way the paint is laid on the canvas, and the colors used, seem to be continually stoking the fire of his inspiration.  He doesn’t squelch out the fire by fixating on the facts of what inspired him.  I feel he sees the deeper story beneath. He uses colors one could eat and shapes that dance together, to share what touched him in the first place.  This work reminds me how often, an inspiration that grants me a chill, is really a quick glimpse into a larger truth that goes far beyond the parameters of what I am viewing.  So by merely letting the image invoke a dance of color, and celebration of shapes, that deeper inspiration stays fresh.  This explains why I never get bored of this work, and I am honored that it stays always with me.  

-Bob Grignaffini

See more of Bob's paintings at