I want to make art!
“I don’t want to make pictures. I want to make art,” says Russ Kramer.
Russ Kramer, widely regarded as one of the world’s leading marine artists, walked attendees at the April 10, 2014 Got Art Program through the history of American yachting, as well as his own artistic journey and process, this past Thursday evening as part of Glastonbury Arts’ Got Art series. The event was well attended and Russ explained the complex and often windy road that brought him to maritime painting.
The presentation began with an artistic exploration of yachting in America, seen first-hand through Russ’s own work. From there, Russ talked the audience through how he got to where he is today. He was honest about his experiences, realizing at the age of 16 that commercial art was more likely to be financially viable than fine art; however, as Russ went through his process, he explained how the passion for the craft become greater later in his life. As he concluded, although he enjoyed his career, now his focus is on the quality of the art. “I don’t want to make pictures; I want to make art,” he explained.
Audience members were able to see how Russ creates his dynamic paintings, from the first sketch as he completes his research to the final product. Because there are few photographs from the time period in which Russ’s work is set, he must be comprehensive in studying logs and documents. Combining data about weather conditions on certain dates with his own sailing expertise, Russ is able to generate an idea of what it was like on the ship on the day and at the time of the painting.
Russ is also fortunate in that he has several friends who are actively involved in his process, because he utilizes them as models. Posing them in appropriate costumes of the era and in positions that would make sense for the planned piece, Russ creates a composite of sketches and posed photographs in PhotoShop and uses that as his starting piece. Before the brush touches the canvas, Russ Kramer has likely spent several weeks brainstorming.
Russ is currently serving as President of the 500-member American Society of Marine Artists and has been the subject of a one-man show at the Museum of Yachting in Newport, RI. He has also appeared in Wooden Boat, Yachting, and Sail magazines, and will be prominently represented in Hyland-Granby’s and William Koch’s forthcoming book, Art and Artifacts of The America’s Cup. He lives in Mystic, CT.
The “Got Art” programs are designed to provide both artists and art lovers with a ‘window-in’ to the creative process. The programs are presented by Glastonbury Arts, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, whose goal is to make art accessible in our community. “Got Art” is free and open to the public and is funded by a grant from the George H. C. Ensworth Memorial Trust.
The next event will be held on May 8, 2014 from 6:30-8:30 pm at the Kol Haverim Social Room on Hebron Avenue in Glastonbury. Dianne Panarelli Miller is the featured artist and she will demonstrate how to paint portraits in oil.
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.