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

"I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for."
― Georgia O'Keeffe

la jolla sunset | new work completed

 

la jolla sunset

 

 

This is the first sunset of a series. I grew up in a beach town north of San Diego, California. The Pacific Coast in California has a quality of light – a clarity and a moisture haze and an intensity – that washes everything in a glow and warmth. The last months of summer this year and then the encroachment of a New England darkness autumn-to-wintor made that memory of warmth and light particularly intense for me.

 

— 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.

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painting: girl in chair

girl in chair JPG

This started from a Picasso painting from 1939 titled “Woman Reading.”

woman_reading_1939_200.jpg

The colors in this followed Picasso’s, then diverged – the biggest revelation from painting this was the scratching of lines into the paint. Sketching into paint, drawing lines into paint. That was/is amazing. One of the things I see most in Picasso’s wide range of techniques is a willingness to be… Sloppy. To let the line take over. To work on communication of the whole, and step back from any obsession with an exactness of detail. And a supreme confidence in the results.

I started with the colors and the chair and the premise of a woman reading in a hallway, quietly, and then tried to walk through to what I saw in the image, which was inherently different, yet has some of the same feel. This is a fun painting to see, for me. It just communicates a quiet joy, in spite of or because of the colors, or is it the blue taming the red and yellow, I don’t know. It is a peaceful painting.

Oil on canvas, gallery-wrapped (painting extends back through the edges), 30″ x 40″ 1-1/2″ deep. Two coats archival Gamvar varnish (gloss).

details

girl in chair detail #1 JPG girl in chair detail #2 JPG girl in chair detail #3 JPG girl in chair detail #4 JPG

 

— spence

artist@spencemunsinger.com
spencemunsinger.com

painting: canyons

th_canyons.gif

I painted some early paintings in watercolors. Pencil sketch on textured watercolor paper, strathmore heavy duty, fairly small stuff – perhaps 8-1/2″ x 11 or 11″ x 17″. I would vidualize the painting, sketch it out, color and line it, at a single stretch of time.

The portfolio that held these was water-damaged in a storage shed in California after an earthquake. Somewhere along the line what was salvaged was set aside and lost

Canyons started out as a drawing in memory of a desert scene I had painted in watercolor and lost. Since the medium was oils, the painting evolved away from that, though the colors and the shading echo what I remember of those paintings.

Oil has more depth and translucency, just a very intense color. Even at brightest, the watercolors couldn’t hit these saturations.


details

canyons_0003_detail_1_160.JPGcanyons_0003_detail_2_160.JPGcanyons_0003_detail_3_160.JPGcanyons_0003_detail_4_160.JPG


— spence

artist@spencemunsinger.com
spencemunsinger.com

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

painting: sale pending

sale pending 160 jpg

"Sale Pending."

Moving a family away from someplace that was home, into the unknown.

Between second and third grades I was moved from Illinois to Del Mar, California. Someone moved into the place I was most aware of as home in Illinois. At some point there was a "SOLD" or "Sale Pending" sign out front of both the house left, and the house found.

In Illinois there was a basement guest room my father built himself, finished in wood paneling. There was a fold-down table in the kitchen near a sliding door leading out to the backyard. I can remember a bee getting in, busy noisily and trying if anything just to leave. I remember the heat and the smell of grass in the summer, lazy and humid. There was "the hill" at the end of the street. Illinois is flat, and a developer had left a mound of dirt at the end of the street on a vacant property. In the summer this was terrain, covered by bushes. In the winter it was the start of sledding and toboggan motion.

The new California house was on the coastal hills overlooking the bluffs above the beach, and a block and a half down was the Pacific Ocean. The house was open, expansive, an architect’s house in a beach community before it became a developer’s playground. There were new discoveries – like red ants, pinion nuts, jellyfish, the sound of the ocean, snow one strange day in November, fog at 5 AM, scuba diving, the La Jolla cove, tide pools, sea anemone.

All of that change was dependent on the transactions affecting both the sale of, and in turn the purchase of, a home.

for sale photograph

This house was "Sale Pending". It remained on the market as the real estate boom slowed, stopped and then reversed after 2004. It was neat, well-kept, no furniture was visible behind the windows. Vacant and waiting.

detail #1 sale pending detail #2 sale pending detail #1 sale pending detail #4 sale pending

This painting is acrylic on canvas, gallery-wrapped, 36" x 48". It has an isolation layer two coats thick, an archival varnish and, to bring back the finish to satin, a rubbed-wax coating. The edges of the painting continue the image on all four sides.

 

— spence

artist@spencemunsinger.com
spencemunsinger.com