Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sam Rosenthal at State Street Gallery

That's Sam Rosenthal, above, doing what he loves, namely painting, and painting on location - to really get the look of things right. He doesn't like to work from photographs because they look so flat, and the light colors look too white and the dark colors look too black. So he likes to look at the scene with his own eyes and devise a way to balance the colors so that it looks - to your eyes - like it really looks. The result is canvases with with a marvelous sense of depth and vibrant color compositions.

He has a big show going on at the Robert Morris University's State Street Gallery. When I say big, I mean both that he has a lot of paintings, and that a lot of them are huge canvases. Most of them are for sale, and the artist, who is outgoing and talkative, can often be found there.

His website is here. He writes:
People often go through their daily routines without noticing the beauty around them. Through my work, I share what I have seen, what I have sensed, and what I have felt to enhance their perception of all that surrounds them. Beyond the physical, I seek to convey the drama, mystery, and complexity of nature and humanity.
A few of his paintings reminded me of some of my mother's work in her 50's, which was kind of eerie. Partly it was the similarity of subject matter, partly some overlap of sensibility. This painting in particular struck me on both counts:

I didn't mention this to him, but I actually think I may have seen him painting this one. I recognize the corner - Clark and Van Buren - and I walk by it twice a day. I recall seeing a guy painting in that exact spot one evening.

And, I must say, that corner looks prettier in the painting than it usually looks to me!

Even things you see every day,
look different when the painter has his way.

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