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

"You have to have an idea of what you are going to do, but it should be a vague idea..."
― Pablo Picasso

Bright, brilliant stark raving color…

 

Bright, brilliant, stark-raving color, "Paper" app on iPad, by spence munsinger

 

What I love about painting is color. Brilliant, bright, stark raving color, and for me, painting has always been that dimension.

In 7th grade I took a photography class. We were tasked with working with black & white film. The development and printing for black & white film are simpler than color, the equipment is less expensive. The demands in creating images are to work with shape and tone and composition, and learn the mechanics of exposure. I had a feeling of dismay, a visceral sinking deep in my stomach, at dropping away the medium of color.

It was anathema.

In painting classes, I took solace in the burnt umber shades and tones in under-paintings. At least they had that much soft warm brown, almost sepia, color left. Black and white and greys would have been much harder and harsher…

Black & white film was a huge adjustment, one it took more than the entire class semester to get over. I now love black and white photography.

 

B&W Photograph of glass vase by Spence Munsinger

B&W Photograph of glass vase

 

I love the dropping away of everything but tone and shadow and light and dark. It is the essentials of form. And it has a softness, like seeing in shadows, in the twilight. There’s a nostalgia to it now that was not there in my younger self. I saw the small 3″x4″ photographs of my family and childhood as a primitive graphic representation of a life lived, and I had the arrogant assumption of eternity and timelessness, the embrace of the vivid ethereal color available in color film.

But in painting – God I love color.

 

— spence

 

How I Paint a Chair in the Sun…

 

process-31
process-31

process-41
process-41

process-141
process-141

process-241
process-241

process-51
process-51

process-61
process-61

process-71
process-71

first_seven_daily-1
first_seven_daily-1

 

 

I am fascinated by the artistic process. I know for myself how much of it is not conscious deliberate decision, and how much is. The ritual, the placing of the canvas, the decisions about tools and easel and materials, the ordering of paints and canvas and panel, the music and the care and feeding of an iTunes library, and the server it runs on, the wireless network that supports AirPlay, and the Remote app on iPhone or iPad, all of that physical care and process is present. All of that is visible.

You can look at an artist and see the acquired skill set, the tools to judge visual distance against how that works on a surface, the color mixing, the application of paint, techniques mastered and brought into creative tension. That’s at least partially visible and can be implied.

Inspiration, vision, ideas, that also has some ritual and process involved. I go through and mark photos or take photographs to capture ideas and visions that I know I intend to cull and use for painting. The care and feeding of digital cameras is a joy, it satisfies an engineering and creative flow.

But…

In the process itself there is a Zone and a Flow where all of this process and ritual comes together and decisions begin to be made and discovered and followed through without, for me, any consciousness of them as specific and distinct. It’s a moment and a period where all is so still for me, no thought, just motion and process and a flow of observation and finding tools to find in the paint and the surface the painting. Like a sculptor carving away that which is not a face, or a body, the painting comes toward a vision. I have a sense of guiding and of struggle, but no moment I can point to where I decided that blue or that pruple or that purple-green-grey and that line.

Flow and Zone.

 

— spence

 

Painting-a-Day: concept and scale and execution

daily-painting-1

One way to price paintings for sale consistently is to find a cost per square inch. That works, up to a certain point, and then fails. You can get only so small until the strategy breaks down…

A painting can be small in area, and in that uses less paint, less canvas, less acrylic medium or turpentine or linseed oil, less archival varnish. Less airbrush paint, less pastel. A painting can be less complicated, simpler in detail and execution. All of that makes less the investment in materials and actual motion and construction by the artist.

Two things are missing.

The first is time. Time to resolve the problems of composition, balance, aesthetic intension, color, form, directing attention. That may be standing in front of the painting and learning to see what’s not there yet, what the next steps are. That seeing is the key to artistic practice. Finding the rituals that push that into being is learning to produce as a professional artist.

The second is concept. My experience is that I feel an emotional hit from an inspiration for a painting, from photograph or memory or color, usually all at once. That’s my individual whole, my intention for what the painting will communicate when it is done, and the measure for when it is done. Getting a painting there is not measurable in motion or materials. Maybe it’s measurable in what it gives you as an artist or what it takes away from your soul…

This article came about because I was thinking about that square footage as a measure for pricing work, and circling around how to produce work that has impact and satisfies me as true and authentic, and that can find a market. A painting can only be so small to lessen the material cost, and that does bring the form and concept to a simpler place, just because of the focus needed to execute it in a smaller space. But doesn’t necessarily mean fewer problems to resolve to get the damn thing complete.

Painting-a-Day, or “A Painting, A Day”, is a brilliant professional drill. It forces a whole survey of method, material, concept of work, and ritual. I think an art school that made this the drill for a year or four would be the school I wish I had had, and had to knock around to find for myself.

 

— spence

 

Renaissance-Art Leather Work – bags and moleskine covers…

Renaissance-Art makes heavy leather goods by hand in New Mexico, U.S.A.. The stuff is very much like you would get if you had a saddlemaker just down the road and asked him for a bag or a journal cover. The studio produces fine finished colored leather, but I love the heavy tanned hides the original moleskine covers and laptop messenger bags come in.

These are made to be used. The leather distresses over time, as good leather should. A scratch on the moleskine cover rubs out easily, same with the laptop bags, and as they age and wear they assume a character and an age and presence. There are no zippers or fabric liners. The thread and sewing is careful. Think a dusty rider slinging his bag over the chair at the table at the end and ordering a drink to cut his thirst. Spurs and brimmed hats. Sante Fe, New Mexico.

Here’s my bag on the work table in Santa Fe…

Renaissance-Art bag

Renaissance-Art bag

When my daughter was 19 years old she gave me a Renaissance-Art journal for Father’s Day. It was so beautiful I could never find the exact words to write in it.

It is still blank.

I pick it up every once in a while and think about what to write in it, and then don’t.

Moleskine covers are easy – the moleskine notebook is an ok paper in a durable cover, and I write lists and thoughts and plans and ideas in each of the three moleskines I use daily. The Renaissance-Art journal-work-of-art is much harder and hits me like a stark blank page in a stark blank book.

What could I write in a unique one-of-a-kind journal given to me by a daughter who no longer lives? What would be important enough? I put it back, still blank. I treasure it.

 

—spence

 

Dust of Everyday Living…

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
—Pablo Picasso

 

picasso at window

 

—spence

 

Banksy

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…

— BANKSY

 

BANKSY | Removing Graffiti

BANKSY | Removing Graffiti