Tag Archives: Old City

FAN in the New York Times

We love when our fair city makes The Gray Lady.  You can see a link to FAN Gallery

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Interview with Rick Buttari

 Rick Buttari, Water Ice Factory, 10 X 14 inches, Oil on Linen

Rick Buttari, Water Ice Factory, 10 X 14 inches, Oil on Linen

Rick Buttari will be showing new paintings for the month of September and F.A.N. Gallery.

We got the chance to ask him a few questions about his work.

 Rick Buttari, Beach Scene With Orange And Yellow, 6 X 20, Oil on Linen

Rick Buttari, Beach Scene With Orange And Yellow, 6 X 20, Oil on Linen

KM: What is your first creative memory?
RB:  I remember seeing photos of celebrities in magazines and wondering if I could draw them, or more specifically, what about that flat image on the page translated to a three-dimensional living thing when you transferred it to a sheet of paper.  I remember taking tracing paper and tracing the outline of a picture from McCall’s magazine, something my mother subscribed to.  It looked crude and mechanical but something made me want to try it again and figure out what kind of marks on the paper would make it seem like that person.  Then I started to draw pictures from my own Sport magazine, baseball and football players.  Somewhere on a sheet of paper inside a scrapbook I have a drawing of Sandy Koufax, probably the first freehand drawing I made.  I guess I was about 10 or 11.
 Rick Buttari, Gawkers, 10 1/2 X 10 inches, Graphite on Paper

Rick Buttari, Gawkers, 10 1/2 X 10 inches, Graphite on Paper

KM: How do you choose your subject matter?
RB: I don’t know if I choose subject matter as much as choose a sense of situation that feels right.  I’ve noticed, and been told, that a lot of my work has kind of an objective distance from the subject, like I’m sitting far away and observing, not part of the scene.


 Rick Buttari, Shirt Corner, 13 X 20 inches, Oil on Canvas

Rick Buttari, Shirt Corner, 13 X 20 inches, Oil on Canvas

KM: Your paintings are so realistic and detailed. How do you know when a painting is done?
RB: I was going to say that I listen for the singing of angels to let me know, but that hasn’t worked lately. I work at home upstairs in a very small studio.  When the painting’s in progress I bring it downstairs to the living room and lean it against the television cabinet and look at it from further away than I can get in my studio.  When I can look at it and take in the whole image in one gulp without my eye wandering restlessly, I assume it’s done.  


 Rick Buttari, Lighthouse, 13 X 20 inches, Oil on Linen

Rick Buttari, Lighthouse, 13 X 20 inches, Oil on Linen

KM: What inspires your work?
RB:  You know, you spend a lot of time looking and thinking.  You look at, say, the light that’s hitting the side of a building and you ask yourself if there’s something there for me, something I can make of it that might be a little different than what somebody else would make of it.  Or something that seems so important at the time that you can’t NOT paint it.That’s the whole ballgame isn’t it, trying to figure out what it is that you’re trying to figure out.

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Gregory Prestegord at F.A.N. Gallery | Public Walls

Thanks Public Walls for the great review.

Gregory Prestegord at F.A.N. Gallery | Public Walls.

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Matt Greenway, F. A. N.’s July Artist

Matt Greenway, The Bridge, 30 x 62 inches, oil on canvas, 2011

I met F.A.N.’s July artist, Matt Greenway, when we were both teaching at Fleisher Art Memorial. I have admired his work for the last 10 years and I am glad that he is now exhibiting at F.A.N.

Matt and I recently talked about some of his working methods and inspiration. I was familiar with some of his older work and have been delighted with the direction of his newer paintings.

KM: Your work that I am most familiar with is from 2001 to 2009. It seems that the paintings are getting looser and the tone is warmer.

MG: There are definitely tendencies toward looser handling in my work. I hope as I mature as a painter, my handling will be less constrained, like many painters I admire.  Right now, the larger pieces are more controlled, finished pieces. I tend to be looser in my smaller works and especially my gouaches. I gravitate to smaller work, some my most favorite paintings are small.

KM: How have your paintings changed over the years and is it a conscious effort to change or is it evolving on its own?

Matt Greenway, The Gathering, 32 x 46 inches, oil on canvas, 2010

MG: My evolution as a painter has been influenced by who I happen to be looking at any given point and I paint in a style reminiscent of painters I like. Some recent autumn paintings were inspired by the work of Daniel Garber . I saw quite a few inspiring pieces at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art’s Museum of American Art a few years ago. I’m still processing that show. The Gathering was an attempt to paint a tapestry-like piece in Garber–like fashion.

KM: Has your painting process changed over the years and has that influenced your style?

MG: The gouache paintings have informed my oils.  They help me understand the importance of freshness in a painting because you cannot fuss with a gouache or it quickly becomes stale.  I think this is true of oil painting as well.

KM: Switching gears a bit. What makes you paint?

Matt Greenway, The Corner, 9 x 11 inches, oil on canvas, 2009

MG: Painting is one way I deal with my mortality – or at least avoid the thought of the end. My demise seems most distant when I have a paintbrush in my hand.  I am comforted by the silly notion that a few of these works will probably survive me. Painting has a lot of things going for it despite it being an antiquated medium.  It affords me a number of things; it is an effort to make meaning of what I see, it is a dialogue with paintings of the past; it gives me a sense of purpose or worth.

KM: What about the landscape or cityscape attracts you?

MG: There is a rich tradition that I am looking to when I commence painting a landscape. There are nearly always a dozen great artists who have painted what I have painted or something like what I have painted [before]. What I find exciting is how I will depict the scene and what this says about my work and who I am. In this sense, I find painting a process of self-discovery as well as mediation on the world and the tradition of painting.

I’m also inspired by what I think would make an interesting painting. This usually involves what I see during everyday life, as well how this intersects with photography and art history.  I cannot paint a pear without thinking about how a dozen other painters might go about this. And in the process of painting that pear I find, through what I choose to include and what I choose to leave out, what kind of painter I am.

Matt Greenway, Bermuda, 7 x 7 inches, oil on muslin, 2009

KM: Can you tell me about your process?

MG: With the exception of still-life, I usually paint an underpainting. In gouache, I paint it in yellows and reds and finish with a cool, then a full color final layer.  In oil, I begin with variations of dark reds and whites – what is a Venetian method, I think.  I try to keep the darks lean and build up the whites. Then I paint a whole other layer on top of this. This way, I find by essentially painting the image twice you learn how the painting works the second time around. Using such a method, Sickert said you may, “learn the song so you can play it by heart”.

Matt Greenway, Dollop, 6 x 7 inches, oil on muslin, 2011

KM: How do your paintings come together: plein air, in the studio, or a mix?

MG: The gouaches or opaque watercolor are often done on site. Still-lifes are done from life in the studio. Otherwise, I paint landscape in the studio from digital or scanned photographs. I sometimes manipulate images on the computer to better understand tonal relationships. Sometimes, I will work from three totally different images of the same picture and take what I need to create the painting. One needs a fresh eye. And when you work indirectly, depending on one image is frequently not enough.

KM: Do you mean three pictures of the same subject from different points of view or three differentially colored or valued versions of the same photo, i.e. a black and white version, a red version or blue version?  By “fresh eye” you mean the different images give you a fresh perceptive on the subject?

MG: Frequently, it’s the same image. I usually desaturate it, and simplify or amplify the tonal values of the image. It’s also important to know the right time to put the source material away and work on the painting on its own terms so that it can stand alone. After all, I’m interested in making a painting – not a painted photo, not photo-realism.

Matt Greenway, Dome, 30 x 40 inches, oil on canvas, 2011

KM: What type of size and surface do you like to work on?

MG: In oil, I work on canvas, muslin, or panel. Someone recently remarked that you can recognize a former Lennart student by whether he paints on muslin or not. In gouache, I prefer hot press [paper], the heavier the better.

KM: Do you do drawings to get started?

MG: On site I’ll do a bare-bones sketch but usually dive in [with paint]. With small oils, I usually work on the underpainting without a drawing and just arrange simple masses. With large works, I generally square them up initially, find a few key points and lay in the masses.

KM: Matt, I know it can be hectic right before the exhibition opening, thanks for taking the time to talk with me about your work and process. The new paintings are beautiful and it was great to get some insight as to how you work.

Please come to F.A.N. Gallery to see Matt Greenway: Recent Paintings, July 1st — 31st, 201, Opening Reception First Friday: July 1st, 5 — 9 p.m.

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Kate Kern Mundie: New Paintings June 3rd Opening Reception

Kate Kern Mundie: New Paintings, June 3rd Opening Reception

Kate Kern Mundie: New Paintings, June 3rd Opening Reception


Matt Greenway, F.A.N. Gallery's July 2011 artist and Kate Kern Mundie F.A.N. Gallery's June 2011 artist

Matt Greenway, F.A.N. Gallery's July 2011 artist and Kate Kern Mundie F.A.N. Gallery's June 2011 artist

The paintings installed

The paintings installed

Kate Kern Mundie: New Paintings, June 3rd, 2011 Opening Reception.

Kate Kern Mundie: New Paintings, June 3rd, 2011 Opening Reception.

I want to thank everyone who came out to the opening of Kate Kern Mundie: New Paintings at F.A.N Gallery, and thank you to all who could not make it but sent kind wishes.
It was a lovely June evening, not too hot – a perfect evening for walking around Old City and checking out all the First Friday events. We had a lot of people stop by the gallery. It was great to see so many friends. I wish I had more time to talk to everyone who stopped in.

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Upcoming Events

Tezh Modaressi: Hard Times, Opening reception May 6, 2011

May 1-29, 2011: Tezh Modaressi

opening reception: Friday, May 6th, 5-9 PM

Kate Kern Mundie

Opening reception for Kate Kern Mundie: New Paintings June 3, 2011

June 1-26, 2011: Kate Kern Mundie

opening reception: Friday, June 3rd, 5-9 PM

July 1-30, 2011: Matt Greenway

opening reception: Friday, July 1st, 5-9 PM

August 5-27, 2011: Group Show

            opening reception: Friday, August 5th, 5-9 PM

September 2-24, 2011: Kathy Weber

         opening reception: Friday, September 2nd, 5-9 PM

October 7-29, 2011: Serge Zhukov

        opening reception: Friday, October 7th, 5-9 PM

November 4-26, 2011: Lesa Chittendem Lim

            opening reception:  Friday, November 4th, 5-9 PM

December 2-31, 2011: Rick Buttari

         opening reception:  Friday, December 2nd, 5-9 PM

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