Friday, February 20, 2015

Tom Soltesz: Modern Impressionist

Impressionism Today!  at The Studio Shop art gallery
February 20 - March 15, 2015
Artists Reception: Friday, Feb. 20 at 5:30pm

Tom Soltesz lives and works in Northern California where he paints California plein air landscapes in the tradition of Impressionist painters such as Claude Monet of France and the California Impressionists: Percy Gray, Edgar Payne, William Wendt and others. When the French Impressionist influence reached California in the 1890s it was embraced by artists who found the Impressionist ideas and techniques to be well suited to capturing California's bright sun and natural beauty. Like the Impressionists before him, Tom Soltesz employs their techniques of quick brushstrokes and vivid color to capture the ever changing light when painting en plein air.

Mountain Melody, Oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches

Mountain Melody is a beautifully balanced composition with distinct foreground, middle distance and background formed by diagonal lines of the sloping hills. The golden glow on the hillsides is quintessential California landscape.  Notice how the trees are composed of quick dashes of green and yellow highlights (much easier to see in person than on a computer image). The shadows in the distant hills are not black but a cool bluish gray which adds depth to the range of colors.
A Walk in the Woods, Oil on canvas, 20 x 16 inches
A Walk in the Woods is a lovely vignette of a wooded path framed by aspen trees on either side. The sunny glade in the middle distance draws one's eye down the path. The composition is balanced by the bit of sun in the foreground which warms the entire setting.

Evening Shadows, Oil on canvas, 24 x 30 inches

Evening Shadows is a lovely scene which captures the last rosy light of the setting sun on leafy eucalyptus trees. With virtuoso brushwork Soltesz has portrayed the sunny branches with little more than a few dabs of yellows and orange. The sky is a lovely and subtle spectrum of muted hues which amazingly contains the entire color wheel, from pale blue at the horizon through lavender, pink, yellow and teal. 


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