"State Street Madison" by Samuel Pretorius, Acrylic on Canvas
16” x 20”
Acrylic on Canvas
Description: A friend showed me some photos of Madison, WI and I loved the feeling and vibrancy of the city so much that I just had to paint it. This is a scene from State Street in Madison, but not the usual view of the Capitol building, which is further down.
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
My aim is to create art that evokes memories of places and people. A fleeting image that you long to see again, a landscape that you will never forget, or a place you yearn to visit, captured in a few brush strokes to hold on to that memory forever.
I have worked in many different mediums in the past, but now I focus on Acrylic because I like applying fresh brush strokes without waiting. I only use three colors, each in two different pigments, red, yellow, blue, and of course white.
My palette currently consists of Alizarin Crimson and Cadmium Red Light for red, Ultramarine and Phtalo Blue, Cadmium Yellow and Primary Yellow, and Titanium White. These all combine to give me fresh colors that are vibrant and alive on the canvas.
I am originally from South Africa, and I come from a family of artists that encouraged me from an early age to paint and draw.
In primary school my art was included in a national exhibition at the Pretoria Art Museum. In South Africa I started building up experience by exhibiting my work at local art galleries and participating in open markets, plein air painting, and exhibitions on a monthly basis.
Life happened and I had to switch focus to my corporate career. Not creating art made me feel like there was a hole in my soul. Recently, after I became a US Citizen, I felt drawn back to making art, I could not stay away from my brushes and paint any more.
I love creating art because of the beauty of nature, the enthrallment of making a brush stroke I like, a fascination with the world around me, and the joy it brings to people.
My paintings are maybe best described as “suggestionistic” art, with brush strokes that suggest shapes and objects, and together those pieces form a whole to evoke a memory. I have always shied away from calling my art “impressionistic” because while I admire, and possibly even revere the Impressionists, they wanted to capture the fleeting effects of light on their subjects, a fleeting impression painted by light.
While I love the interplay of light and dark, my focus, on the other hand, is mainly on suggesting a shape, a landscape or a subject, and letting the memory of the viewer fill in the details. The aim of brush strokes in impressionistic paintings are often mostly to reflect the fractured impact of light on a subject, I enjoy making bold brush movements that capture the essence of a subject in as few brush strokes as possible. I want to move the viewer from merely looking at a painting to thinking about a memory evoked by it, to make an emotional connection to what they see.