Blog Menu

Built-Up Abstracts: Art by Timothy J. Sullivan

A painting with primary colors layered over a mixed backgroundEarth Abides, acrylic on canvas

Timothy J. Sullivan is an artist currently based in North Vancouver, British Columbia. In his art practice, Timothy produces bright abstractions, large and small, using mixed media and a range of artistic tool. The resulting works are built-up abstracts with layers of style and color.

An abstract painting with large, dry brush marksDecorum Denied, acrylic on paper

I rather enjoy the way that Timothy combines planes of rough, mottled and textured paint with moments of bright, clean primary colors and hard-cut, geometric forms. As we discussed in our previous feature of Timothy’s layered style paintings, the artist often works through a subtractive process, unrestrainedly adding paint to the substrate, then using a palette knife or another tool to scrape and peel away some of that paint and expose the layers underneath. In some of his works it appears as though the artist has reduced a painting, only to once again add to it in the form of final touches and embellishments.

The front page of Timothy Sullivan's art websiteThe front page of Timothy's portfolio website


The artist’s sketches on paper are smaller than his paintings, but no more contained. The nature of paper as a surface prevents the thick, tactile layers of paint, allowing the artist’s process to transform into something more delicate and ethereal.

An abstract painting on paperTulip Heaven, acrylic on paper

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

Read more of Dallas' posts

Make your art portfolio easy

and focus your time on making art.


Try free for 30 days. No payment required.