Monday, April 8, 2013

Man versus Nature

Most painters receive inspiration from their surroundings. Living in the country has inspired and influenced David Gluck’s paintings. Most of David’s subjects for his Still Life paintings are objects collected locally. The same holds true for his figurative work. David tends to paint the people he knows and is familiar with. 

David says that since moving to the country he has come into contact with many salt of the earth type people, people who know how to live off the land in a way that their grandparents and great grandparents did before them. They remind him of a lost generation of survivors, the pioneers of the past. The theme of man pitted against nature is one that continues to inspire David.

For example, last year, David was an Exceptional Merit Winner at the 2012 International Portrait Competition for this painting The Trapper. This painting depicts a man whom David befriended. When David knew him, the man did not have a job or home of his own, but he kept himself extremely busy collecting scrap metal (basically, a modern-day forager). In this painting, David depicts this man as an early settler-trapper, a grizzled breed of men that lived with few material comforts and braved harsh winters to seek a living from the woods.

Read what David has to say about his painting process:

Q: What techniques do you use?

A: I paint in a very traditional manner. My approach isn’t varied or complicated, but I do put an emphasis on textural qualities. I think one thing that always has and always should distinguish a painting from a photograph is the tactile quality of paint.

Q: Describe your process.

A: I would say at least half of a piece is in the planning. I always do a series of studies starting with thumbnails and preliminary drawings for tone and composition. I end with colors studies before beginning on the final canvas. I try to leave very little to chance.

Q: What is your major consideration when composing a painting?

A: Broad tonal relations are my primary consideration. I am a tonalist as opposed to a colorist, which means light and dark relationships are the crux of my work. I spend a lot of time working out a perfect shadow pattern, especially in my model’s face. It is important to have the features illuminated in just the right way to suggest a certain mood and psychology.

David Gluck will be teaching a Classical Still Life painting workshop at WIFAS this summer, June 3 to 7, 2013. You can learn more about his workshop on our website.