Paintings from Sunset Series by Spence Munsinger, Color Field + Blank White Canvas + Realism + Contemporary Abstract Art, original paintings for sale

The Art we look at is made by only a select few.
A small group create, promote, purchase, exhibit and decide the success of Art.
Only a few hundred people in the world have any real say.
When you go to an Art gallery
you are simply a tourist looking at the trophy cabinet of a few millionaires…"

Archives for May 2009

In Progress | Sunset #13 palm trees

Colors as they mix at the surface of the mind.

Intensities that change in relation to each others – hues that in a perception over time add and subtract and interact, changing what you are seeing.


Mark Rothko hid his process to the extent that he could, working on large canvases. He was secretive, and he did succeed in creating a mystery about what he did. Jackson Pollock was overt and demonstrative in his painting – filmed stepping on the canvas, feeling the paint as it left the brush to form pattern.

I think the secret in the art is not in the process – dripping paint on a canvas doesn’t get a Pollock, there was a control, an intuitive resonance between what he was doing physically and how he perceived it. I think the secret is in that intuitive vision.

I look at the underpainting and I see the next steps, not what’s there right now.

— spence

palm trees and inspiration

I walked into the studio to work on sketching Sunset #13 Palms, and I found this:

backlit palm trees

The painting already starts with palm trees in silhouette, but maybe there is another painting in this, taller and narrower, more along the lines of a Chinese brush painting. Which I found through stumbled-upon…

This is from an artist named Chen Shen Ping. Absolutely beautiful work. There is an order and a delicate sense of proportion in this artist’s work that to me makes it stand out.

More –


— spence

In Progress | Sunset #12

This is the underpainting for Sunset #12. Two routes this will end up going – I’m thinking that working with the texture of the canvas I might be able to scrape away and get the translucent canvas feel of the umbrella, the changes in light behind it. The other alternative would be to layer on the thread texture on top of thicker paint bringing through the sunset.

sunset #12 IP

Each painting presents its own problems – this one is communicating the coolness of shade, the heat just beyond in the sun, the sand and reflected light, and a sense of space despite the fabric in the way.

— spence

just do it, really, and a flyer

I followed an art newsgroup four or five years ago for about three weeks. This would be Usenet gathered by (which was purchased by google and morphed into google groups). I stopped following it. There was a HUGE amount of thought going into relatively little actual art. One girl was asking for opinions on a piece, and from her originations and replies, it sounded like she might produce three works in a year if she was extraordinarily productive. She had unbelievable angst and worry about this single piece, in which she had sold out for nudity, and was concerned about commercialism in it and the selling out in general.

I read newsgroups for writers and I find some of the same. Circle around the painting, the blank canvas long enough and it’s mimicking circling a drain. Circle around writing words on the page and there are no words on the page. Pro’s do stuff. They write or they paint. Angst and struggle and emotional terror, all of that is process, what comes up from the doing of, from placing paint on a surface, or words on a page, anyway. Wait to feel the urge or think and don’t do, nothing happens or much less happens.

I stopped following the artist group in fairly short order, because it concentrated on solving problems surrounding making art, rather than solving actual artistic creations, directions. There are distractions. They exist. I mostly paint or write anyway. If I produce art I am an artist. If I think about producing art, waiting for inspiration, that’s time that could have been more usefully spent putting paint on canvas.

I have one canvas in progress right now, three more set up to work, all three are blank canvases, but a commitment is made to what each will be. I’ll work Sunset #11, then once I reach a point where paint needs to dry, or where I feel like I have totally ruined the painting, go to Sunset #12, which is a sunset seen through and around an umbrella. That will be pastel drawing and fixative to airbrush undercoat to paint on canvas, and then sequences of problems to solve to get the painting through to done. Each painting is a refuge from the one before it, in case that one before stalls either from process (drying) or from process (discovering that it is NOT the worst thing I’ve ever committed to canvas, and actually works out well…).

One instructor, a pro painter, recommended not working on anything longer than a couple of hours, and to stay productive as an artist, painting many canvases in a process like this. I’ve altered that a bit – some sessions run hours longer, but only up to that moment of where the next actions are not obvious, and the painting needs to dry, and/or I need to step away. It works.

One of the-step-away-from-the-painting-before-you-get-hurt cycles I’ve been working through is a flyer to send out to galleries. Here’s the first draft…

flyer page one

flyer page two

The next problems to solve are paper stock – I used to have a custom paper house nearby, owned by a printer who dearly loved paper and rag content and linens and glossy stock were his passions. Staples somehow doesn’t match that, but I have a clear picture of the finish, surface, color, and quality of the stock that this should be on to make an effect.

Go forth and paint and solve other artistic issues. Make life and emotions solve themselves.

— spence