Every year or so I use Earth Images to explore the world of painting. Today is that day.
Of the seven billion people on earth, I may have been blessed with the
least amount of painting talent. That doesn’t prevent me from
appreciating those who inherited (and worked for) the talent that I missed. Below are
some fine painters including some of the best known instructors of painting, many of which have their own PBS show.
When you make a photo of a painting, and share it on the internet, it
loses a good piece of what it is about. The lines and colors and
contrasts appear less significant than what they really are. Any
textures are pretty much lost, and above all, it is difficult if not
impossible to truly “see” the brush strokes of the individual artist.
A large part of the individual personality of the painter, can be seen
and felt through their brush strokes.
I am certainly not qualified to be an art critic, but a lack of
qualifications at anything, has never stopped me before. Like most of the rest
of you, I look at a painting and either appreciate it or not.
Probably unlike most of you, I obsess about why I do or do not like
what I am seeing.
Any self-described expert in the field of art, may take umbrage with
my list below, but the teacher of art is an artist twice over, first
in the production of said art, and secondly in how they share what they know
with the world. The first four painters below, certainly fit that criteria.
Jerry Yarnell can paint anything with style and beauty. Anything!!
What’s more, he can show you (not me, you) how. He paints primarily in
acrylics but is equally talented with watercolor and oil. His style
rests comfortably between realist, and impressionist. He paints
America from yesterday and today. Jerry’s use of highlights and shadows is always breathtaking.
One painting, done in his studio for his show, can take up to six
episodes to complete. He teaches you everything.
Gary Spetz is a watercolor artist (photographer as well), and one of
the most celebrated of the current crop. Like Yarnell, his style falls
a little bit this side of impressionism. Gary pretty much covers the entire
world in scope.
Roger Bansemer is an acrylic artist who along with his wife, hosts the
PBS show Painting and Travel. He is the painting part of the
show. Roger is another artist who can paint absolutely any subject at
all. His style can approach realism, although it can also come close
to impressionism. He began painting as an abstract artist. He begins
his paintings for the TV show on location, and then finishes them at
Stephan Bauman’s Grand View (also the title of his PBS show) of
things, those things being the western landscape, is well, incredibly
“painterly”. He has a great fluid style which I appreciate very much.
He paints on location and will (with some time condensed) take you
through an entire painting in one show. I believe he paints in oils,
and his finished wok is that of an old master. He is another one who’s
use of highlight and shadow is well-done.
These final two artists do not teach on PBS.
While I am a lover of and quite knowledgeable about abstract photography, I
would not be so pretentious as to suggest I have even a modest
knowledge of abstract painting. I simply look at color, line and the
juxtaposition they inhabit within the canvas, and decide whether an
emotion worthy of my attention has been brought forth. In essence, I
ask do I like it or not? Carlos Arnaiz is considered by art lovers,
to be one of the best contemporary abstract painters.
I can imagine that the art of conjuring up a vision in the abstract,
and then bringing it to fruition, is quite a feat. The reason why I
love abstract photography so much, is that photography is a medium
that was created to copy an exact replica of something that already
exists in the real world. The mind’s eye of the photographer,
perceives a scene that is real, but then they use their personal
vision of how the light, shapes, and patterns of that scene come
together in a manner that is not obvious to the eye of another
photographer who may be standing right next to them.
The painter and the photographer have two completely different
starting points for creating their vision.
Portraiture, I would suspect, is a most difficult painterly discipline
to master. Valeriy Gridnev is a modern master at capturing the essence
of the human condition, while keeping in tact his personal style.
Below we have a painting entitled “The Guitarist”. Don’t you just want
to meet the subject, listen to him play, and find out what makes him
tick? That is the essence of portraiture I would think.
Have a great day and “watch those brush strokes”.