Tag Archives: urban landscape

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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A Few Questions with Kathleen Weber

Kathleen Weber, "Tavern In Olneyville," 24 X 30 inches, oil on canvas

Kathleen Weber, “Tavern In Olneyville,” 24 X 30 inches, oil on canvas

Kathleen Weber will be showing new landscape and genre paintings at FAN Gallery in June. Her paintings depict everyday life in saturated color.
What is your first creative memory?
 My first creative memory is having a fist full of crayons, drawing a sailboat on some scrap paper my mother had. She ooh’d and ahh’d- big mistake! And I ended up becoming an artist instead of a doctor.
Kathleen Weber "Coco Pazzo," 20 x 20 inches, oil on canvas

Kathleen Weber “Coco Pazzo,” 20 x 20 inches, oil on canvas

How has your painting practice or style grown or changed in the last year or two?
In the last couple of years I’ve been doing a lot more portraits. After reading about Anders Zorn and his limited palette- black, white, yellow ochre, and cad red light- I spent a lot of time using just those colors to see what I could make them do. You can get an incredible range of skin and hair color, and I’ve ended up teaching portrait classes where the first class is spent just doing a color chart so that everyone can see the range it is possible to achieve with such a limited palette. I’ve added other colors now when I do portraits- I love burnt sienna and I really missed blue! But that basic palette remains.
Kathleen Weber, "Windows," 18 x18 inches, oil on canvas

Kathleen Weber, “Windows,” 18 x18 inches, oil on canvas

What is the most challenging part of painting figures?
Some years ago I was in a gallery where I had some work and a woman told me that she never bought paintings with people in them. When I mentioned this to a friend who has bought a lot of my work, he said, “what, she wouldn’t want the Mona Lisa, or Nighthawks?” 

I actually think that the most challenging part of painting figures is creating the atmosphere around them. Of course you want to be able to draw them well, but with enough practice that’s achievable. They can teach that in art school. What they can’t teach is, what’s inside you that’s different from the next painter? What do you paint when you stop imitating painters you admire? That’s something you can only figure out by spending a lot of time in front of your easel. I’m still working on that.

Do you have a creative habit? How do you shape your art making practice to nurture your work?

Now that the good weather is here again, I hope to get outside and paint landscapes for a change, because although I do a lot of work from photos, I actually prefer working from life. I try to get some of the energy of plein air in my studio work.

Kathleen Weber, "Yellow House," 20 X 24 inches, oil on canvas

Kathleen Weber, “Yellow House,” 20 X 24 inches, oil on canvas

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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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January Group Show

January Group Exhibition Works by Gregory Prestegord

January Group Exhibition
Works by Gregory Prestegord

We are excited to show the work of so many of our wonderful artists this month. The show includes works by Gregory Prestegord, Serge Zhukov, Jesse J. Gardner, Charles Newman and Joshua Koffman. Also new paintings by Claire Haik, Kate Kern Mundie, Neil Berger, and David Bottini.

FANGalleryJan2013Prest

January Group Exhibition
Painting by Gregory Prestegord

The show features figurative sculpture by Joshua Koffman. Urban landscapes by Neil Berger, Kate Kern Mundie, Jesse J. Gardner, and Gregory Prestegord. Winter landscape by Serge Zhukov. Still life and landscape paintings by Charles Newman. Rural landscapes by David Bottini and Claire Haik.

FANGalleryJan20131

January Group Exhibition
Works by Serge Zhukov, Jesse J. Gardner, Charles Newman and Joshua Koffman.

FANGalleryJan20132

Fred and Greg in front of one of Greg’s paintings.

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Interview with Tezh Modarressi

Tezh Modarressi, "We Harrdly Go Outside," 6 X 6 inches, oil and encaustic on wood

Tezh Modarressi, “We Hardly Go Outside,” 6 X 6 inches, oil and encaustic on wood

Tezh Modarressi’s latest exhibition at F.A.N. Gallery, “Now You See It. . . “ (as in  . . . and now you don’t) represents two years of work, painting in oil and encaustic on wood. Buildings, vehicles and nature are shown as they are on the brink of disappearing. Tezh finds these images eerily sad, but also compelling. The rough wood combined with the wax medium, is meant to reinforce the sense of time’s passage.

What is your first creative memory?
The first creative memory I have is sitting in Quaker meeting, next to a family friend (an artist) who was drawing. When she noticed me watching she passed me the sketch so that I could copy it. As I started copying it the time flew by. I remember thinking, “This is great! When I get home I’m gonna need some more paper.”
Tezh Modarressi, "Get Out Of The Cold," 9 X 9 inches, oil and encaustic on wood

Tezh Modarressi, “Get Out Of The Cold,” 9 X 9 inches, oil and encaustic on wood

Do you have a creative habit? How do you shape your art making practice to nurture your work?
My only habit is that I need to be in my studio early in the morning. I put on music and have a cup of coffee. By mid afternoon I start overworking and over thinking my work. That’s when I should leave the studio, not even go back to do small touch ups.
You have fun and interesting titles to your work. How do you come up with your titles?
I think I make up little scenarios about the places I’m painting. Sometimes the titles are little inside jokes I’ve made with myself about what I picture is going on. While I’m working on a painting I write notes on the margins that I go back to when I title them. Other paintings I just instantly know what I’m going to call them when I start to draw the first draft.
Tezh Modarressi, a Baltimore native, graduated from the Rhode lsland School of Design in 1988.  She currently lives in Philadelphia.  Her work centers around  abandoned cars, houses, barns and outside scenes.  Modarressi works in encaustic medium.  She feels the layering and building up of wax on a wood surface in the encaustic process works well with these subjects. Tezh works in both oil on paper and encaustic mediums depending on how she’d like to show off the subject.
Tezh Modarressi, "Save Me," 7 X 7 inches, oil and encaustic on wood

Tezh Modarressi, “Save Me,” 7 X 7 inches, oil and encaustic on wood

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Interview with Jesse J. Gardner

Jesse J. Gardner, Rural Urban, 12 X 18 inches, oil on panel

Well-known portraitist Jesse J. Gardner will present his most recent series of landscape paintings, On the Streets of Philadelphia, at FAN Gallery this October. This series explores several neighborhoods familiar to the artist; Kensington, Frankford, Northern Liberties and Manayunk. Sculptor and critic Leslie Kaufman has written of the artist’s work; “Gardner’s Philadelphia is not on any visitor’s map…he searches city neighborhoods and industrial locations to illuminate lost places whose histories were long abandoned and forgotten. As an urbanist dedicated to environmental issues, Gardner wields his paintbrush as a spotlight – to reveal both what we have lost, and to suggest what may still be reclaimed.

Jesse J. Gardner grew up on farms in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom and Canada’s Cape Breton Island. Before he began focusing on art, he was a volunteer firefighter at the Pine Plains Hose Company #1 in New York and worked as a long distance trucker and construction worker.

Jesse J. Gardner, “Trees at Huntingdon Street II”, oil on panel

What is your first creative memory?

I was always drawing, and recall that the subjects that interested me as a young child were similar to my subject matter today: houses in the landscape. The first serious drawing was done around age 11, when I looked down the hill at the rooftops of my neighbor’s barn and outbuildings and produced a pencil drawing on a cheap tablet. My parents decided at this point that I was serious about being an artist, and gave me extra time off on our busy farm to draw and paint. I had an interest in preserving historic architecture as a teenager, and when we lived in Nova Scotia in the 1970’s, began making detailed pencil studies of Canadian National Railway stations that were being demolished.

How do you think about your body of work, the portraits and the landscapes? Does one inform the other or are they separate in your mind?

I see the subject matter as emanating from the same conscious desire to dig below the surface and reveal the inner light. It is part of the same narrative; restoring a measure of dignity to the invisible and overlooked. I have integrated the two occasionally. Look for these two separate themes to come together in my work in the near future. It is a natural evolution for the work.

You can find out more about  Jesse’s portrait work and involvement with firefighters here.

How did you get involved doing the portrait work?

It grew out of an interest in the invisible service class–workers who keep the world moving but are taken for granted–rarely acknowledged or recognized for their efforts. My parents were very involved with the Labor Movement when I was growing up, so it felt right to be documenting in paint these hard working, ordinary people. I know that my concept of the heroic firefighter was shaped very early on, growing up as I did with farmers and mechanics as role models.

Jesse J. Gardner, "Rapid Eletcric Company,"oil on panel

Jesse J. Gardner, “Rapid Electric Company,”oil on panel

How do you choose your landscape subject matter?
I paint obscure places for the most part, far removed from the tourist itinerary and the “center” of things. When I paint familiar landmarks, like the Ben Franklin Bridge, I look for vantage points that most would dismiss as  non-picturesque, even ugly. In the series River Town, I ended up painting the bridge from underneath, with a focus on the floating March ice and abandoned piers. The bridge was the focus, but treated as a secondary element. It makes one rethink the familiar and question assumptions.

Jesse J. Gardner, "Poplar West," oil on panel

Jesse J. Gardner, “Poplar West,” oil on panel

Who are your influences art or otherwise?
I owe a great debt to my parents, who are writers and farmers and who shaped my approach to my work by emphasizing the importance of craft and honest labor and self-reliance. They exposed me and my siblings to a wide range of art and culture, which was unusual on a working Vermont farm. They taught us to do everything to the best of our ability. Most importantly, they nurtured an appreciation for lost and endangered places–we restored farm equipment, homes and barns, and cleared abandoned fields for grazing land.

My artistic influences are wide ranging. I love the expert drawing and chiaroscuro of Rembrandt and Velásquez, Whistler’s portraits and nocturnes. I appreciate Egon Scheile, Toulouse-Lautrec and Degas for their draftsmanship.  I am profoundly moved by Käthe Kollwitz’s etchings The Weaver’s Cycle.

There are Russian realist painters from the pre-Stalinist era who have had a profound effect on me. I feel a kinship with Grant Wood, George Bellows, Rockwell Kent, and Edward Hopper. There is a contemporary painter named William Wray who I really admire. Brad Holland’s poster illustrations for the Public Theater provoke a visceral reaction in the viewer; he is a brilliant artist and this is a body of work that every artist who is interested in portraiture should study.

I have discovered Chinese modernists recently.  Qi Zhilong’s series Chinese Girls has inspired me to consider a new series of large portraits. There is so much that I want to explore as an artist, and so little time.

Jesse J. Gardner, "My Little Town," oil on panel

Jesse J. Gardner, “My Little Town,” oil on panel

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Jesse J. Gardner: On the Streets of Philadelphia

Jesse J. Gardner, Rural Urban, 12 X 18 inches, oil on panel

Jesse J. Gardner
On the Streets of Philadelphia
New Paintings

October 5-27, 2012
Opening Reception Friday October 5, 5 to 9 PM

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