Gage Opdenbrouw “Studio Sink” oil on canvas , 16 x 18 inches, 2009
click here for a larger view
Gage Opdenbrouw is a strong emerging painter who teaches and paints in the Bay Area. He is currently in a two-person show with Ryan M. Reynolds June 11 through July 17, 2011 at ArtZone 461 Gallery in San Francisco.
Gage was generous to respond to my request to say a few words about his process and procedure with his landscapes and window paintings shown here. He also provided me with some larger images of his work that helps a little to make up for not seeing the real thing.
Gage Opdenbrouw stated that:
The paintings of windows started with the idea of painting a very simple, humble subject, without a lot of obvious romance, but attempting to find the beauty in it through being very attentive, which painting from life demands. Joseph Campbell said something great about the job of the artist being to reveal the radiance that lies hidden just under the surface of everyday things, and that description resonated with me as far as my motivations, especially in those paintings. I just decided to paint my kitchen window and the view outside it repeatedly, and without much artificial composing–the thought being that i could bring the most depth of feeling to the paintings if they came from my daily experience, without too much deliberate staging.
The cityscape paintings are often done from photos, but usually they are used mostly as an aid to drawing, for a long time most of my color has come from memory, which is tough but always much richer. Often I’ll do sketches in pencil, watercolor or gouache that serve as an aid to memory, as well, but they are almost always very small, like 3-6″. I feel like every method has its advantages and disadvantages and there’s always a point at which you really have to look at it strictly as a painting and work according to it’s internal logic, regardless of the initial inspiration.
Gage also had an ambitious start with a blog a few years ago with his interview with the stellar painter Nicolas Uribe that is great read.
Also here is a link to an 2007 interview by Spraygraphic blog with Gage Opdenbrouw that may also be of interest.
Here are several images of paintings from his website that gives a good sampling of his work.
Beginning of Summer 8×10 inches oil on linen
First Storm of the Winter oil on panel, 16 x 9.5 inches 2010