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

"We all know that art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth..."
― Pablo Picasso

storytelling and play, two (or three) painters

“Edward hopper’s emotional storytelling with light, Picasso’s willingness to alter and reinvent form and perspective and to simply play, blatantly play with materials…”

I wrote that in an email from 2011, which ended up in the gmail “Drafts” folder – saved, but never sent or completed.

Nine months later I am not sure where it came from, what idea I was rolling around in that. I consider Hopper an influence because of the loneliness and solitude and timelessness of his images. His telling of a story.

There is the heartbreaking scene in a theatre of a woman, we can barely see her, she is off to the side of the theatre in an aisle away from the stage. Her body language says profound grief or disappointment. Was she an actress denied a part? A showgirl rejected as a professional or as a mistress? A wife or mother recovering from facing down her husband? There is a visual story right there, told but not completely and that storytelling demands the viewer add him or herself to the painting.

 

hoppermovie

 

That’s why I paint in gesture in abstract, in lucky placements of paint that follow an intention but not an exact intention and certainly not an exact attention or care. That feeling in painting, you can see it in Vermeer’s work – look in closely at some details and they aren’t there – they are suggested by the rhythm and the flow of the paint, but the actual detail you see isn’t precisely placed or even anything but shadow and change in tone.

 

vermeer_soldier

 

Picasso is both influence and inspiration. He continually found new ways of lookign at the world, and new ways of expressing that viewpoint, all the way to his passing. His work has a joy and a consistency despite the variety on its surface. Even at the death of his best friend there is a communication of possibility,

I have a film of Picasso “Le Mystere Picasso” from 1956. In the DVD Picasso brings brush strokes into life. At one point a painting is NOT going well, and his subtitled comment is “Oooohhhh. This is bad. Vary bad…” He played with paint, with vision and presented it well.

 

Le-Mysere-Picasso-Clouzot

 

 

—spence

 

9000 x 12000 pixels – long road home

 

I post-scan-processed “long road home”. This part is mechanical, just adjusting to bring out the best possible image. But the visual reward – to have truly printable high quality images – just the impact of that many pixels is incredible. The original canvas is 30″ x 40″.

This image links to the reasonable-sized detail image – the blue outline is the section that the detail image captured – the detail image links to a full size image of the section – you will have to scroll around to close it, it is larger than the resolution of most monitors (the image size is roughly 1200 pixels x 2200 pixels). It does give you a sense of what a 44 MB jpeg image can capture – distilled from a 618 MB TIFF file.

long road home detail

This was not sharpened except at the noise reduction filter level, and that only slightly. To print effectively it is likely to require more sharpening. There is a technique called high pass filter sharpening [1], which failed miserably in this case, but was outstandingly effective on “weathervane”. On this painting image, it turned the colors toward shades of grey, and I went back and started over again.

Back to top…

 

— spence

artist@spencemunsinger.com
spencemunsinger.com

 


[1] Note:

High Pass Noise Filtering (Photoshop CS2)

On the Layer palette select your Background Layer and right click. Select Duplicate Layer.

  • With this new layer highlighted select Filter / Other / High Pass. Set the Radius to 10 and click OK.
  • Zoom into your image to Actual Pixels level so you can better see what you’re going to do next.
  • Go back to the Layer Palette and select Hard Light from the left drop down.
  • Now go to the Opacity Slider and select a level of sharpening that seems best to you. Usually something between 20% and 70% will be best.

Back to article…

painting: long road home

long_road_home_280.JPG

This abstract came to be from a section of brushstrikes on another painting. This is the second, successful incarnation. The first was flatter, the colors more separate. This painting is oil on canvas, varnished with Gamvar archival varnish one year after completion. It is 30″ x 40″, gallery wrapped and painted through the edges, 1-1/2″ thick.

I keep seeing new things in the painting… A house, valley, road, mountains, vineyards, groves, oasis, river and banks.

This kind of glowing translucent blended color seems to be something oil paint can achieve easily. See canyons.

details

long_road_home_detail_1_140.jpglong_road_home_detail_2_140.jpglong_road_home_detail_3_140.jpglong_road_home_detail_4_140.jpg


— spence

artist@spencemunsinger.com
spencemunsinger.com