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…"

This is California…

Hand Car Wash Studio City

Hand Car Wash, Studio City

Alternates to Lightroom CC…

I’ve never liked the Cloud model, especially Adobe’s CC. Initially the price was $29.99/month (2013) which was a discounted price from $49.99/month. Right now it’s $9.99/month for a Photography version, Lightroom and Photoshop.

The only Adobe product I really use is Lightroom, and I recently upgraded to Lightroom 6.1. I paid an upgrade license and a full license price, for a total of roughly $220. Right now Adobe offers the standalone Lightroom 6, and the Lightroom CC version ($9.99 and comes with Photoshop…). So for $120 per year (for now) I could have continued to use Lightroom as Lightroom CC. I rarely use Photoshop (I use an older Photoshop Elements program which has worked just fine when needed). My costs would have been roughly the same, either way.

Except – except that Adobe in the Cloud can alter and manipulate the experience and the pricing at will. With a standalone version I am NOT forced to upgrade at any time and I can keep using the results of extensive refactoring and categorizing and keyword hierarchy, without risk of change. I can choose not to pay more money to Adobe. I can let the program slide for a version or two.

Adobe recently upgraded Lightroom standalone to 6.1. And, as they promised, it lacks a feature now available to Lightroom CC. There is no plan to make the de-haze slider available to Lightroom standalone 6.1 any time in the future, in fact Adobe has stated they won’t make it available. Yes, they mentioned that new features wouldn’t come to Lightroom standalone. But it still pisses me off.

Lightroom has struggled with the Fuji X Series sensor for three years. Capture One does a much better RAW conversion from this sensor than Adobe Camera RAW. In fact some photographers swear it does better with all RAW formats. It costs $299. It is supported very well by Phase One as a standalone version exclusively (no cloud bullshit). I purchased Capture One to use as a RAW converter back when Adobe couldn’t seem to understand the Fuji sensors, as part of deciding to move to Fujifilm cameras, mostly away from Canon.

Capture One has to be approached as a different image management paradigm, and a completely different working environment. It was different enough that after struggling with C1 and starting to get shortcuts down and image manipulation fluid, I gave up and I went ahead and stuck with Lightroom and upgraded, for now – but after the 6.1 update leaving me behind the Cloud version – I think I’ll be re-examining that decision.


rebuilding a studio…

In January, I arrived home at midnight from a trip to Santa Barbara to find water sheeting across the master bedroom floor. A frozen heating pipe had split and burst and then thawed. It must have just thawed enough to start leaking a few hours before. This was a very cold January, and shutting off all the water and losing all heat at a temperature of 10 degrees outside wasn’t workable. Thank you, Polar Vortex. After I found the zone that controlled the water flow and shut it off, I drilled holes in the ceiling downstairs to release the water that had seeped through the floor into plastic tubs and garbage cans. I got maybe 100 gallons out.

If the pipe had burst and then leaked for days, the downstairs would have flooded.

What did get damaged though has taken until now to rebuild. The rebuilding displaced my studio until this next coming weekend, when I get to put it back together.





Venice CA, Sunset No. 8

sunset 08

30″ x 24″, acrylic on gallery-wrap canvas
©2011 spence munsinger

The original painting is 30″ x 24″ x 1.5″, acrylic on gallery-wrap canvas.

Fine Art Print, 30″ x 24″, “Sunset 8 | Venice”.    See About Prints

$172.99Add to cart

Two photos were references for the painting

Sunset 8 | Venice, original painting by Spence Munsinger, photo reference

Venice, photo #1

Sunset 8 | Venice, original painting by Spence Munsinger, photo reference

Venice, photo #2

Several people who have lived in Los Angeles and know this beach have spotted this as Venice, even with the artistic changes in the view. There’s a point in the painting process where whatever the photographs have to give, they have given, and the painting proceeds beyond any reference to the photographs at all. This painting did that fairly early on. Most of the painting was in making the path and trees and sky work together.

This painting is the only one I’ve placed on new supports, new stretchers – one of the original supports broke in an accident in the studio. I replaced the stretcher frame with a new one, but handling a painting with a gallery-wrap canvas, painted through the edges, and getting it onto new supports without damage was careful work.



Happy birthday daughter-who-was-and-always-will-be-loved. And missed.
You would be 27 years old today. I am so proud of you, and of the love you inspired in your friends and anyone who knew you. It is a privilege to have had anything at all to do with how you turned out.

Happy Birthday, Ashley Lyn.

Ashley Lyn at 3 building a cake for father's day

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