Glen KramerFine Art

Plein air studies near Fort Ross, CA
On plein air near Fort Ross, CA, 2012

Why I paint

By day, I am a scientist/engineer working on cutting-edge technology for a Silicon Valley hi-tech (see my alter ego bio here). Painting for me is neither a job, nor a hobby. It is an activity that I find as important as having a balanced meal or physical exercise. The act of painting provides a welcome, even necessary, refuge for the mind away from the solely left-hemispheric mode of operation into the intuitive, subconscious, and abstract world. In Painting as a Pastime, Churchill said it the best: “Painting is complete as a distraction. I know of nothing which, without exhausting the body, more entirely absorbs the mind.”

Painting is hardly about the technique of putting paint on the canvas. Strange as it sounds, to be able to paint, one must learn to see. I notice that it is only when I let go of my preconceived notions of what things ‘should be’ and focus on what I really see, that I make progress in my art. This skill to see can be trained. The ability to put aside what I know and see things with a fresh eye makes me a better techie as well, for when I get back to the office after a painting outing, I often am able to see a new and unexpected solution to whatever problem I am struggling with at the time.

The Great Petaluma Paintout 2009
The Great Petaluma Paintout 2009

Where I want to be as an artist

I respond the most to Russian “lyrical” landscape. With its subdued, muted colors, where nothing shouts or rushes by, it evokes the feelings of melancholy and quiet introspection, reminds us of the eternity of nature and the transience of anything that worries us day to day. The Russian painter Levitan with his “Above Eternal Rest” or “Evening Bells” is probably the best-known example, but there are many others, less known in the West. Some of my favorites are Nikita Fedosov′s “Autumn Wind” and Alexey Gritsay′s “The Msta River” and “Late Autumn”. I cannot say whether such feelings can be attributed to these paintings alone, or whether the mentality, culture, and the history of the land need to be shared by the artist and the viewer for such a response. It is my hope someday to be able to convey such feelings to the viewers of my work.

Art education

As a child, I received formal and rigorous art training that included drawing, composition, painting, sculpture, and art history in an art school named after Alexey Shchusev in Kishinev, Moldova. Some of that training got ingrained deeply and has stayed with me to this day. More recently, I studied in workshops taught by talented local and visiting artists: Paul Kratter, Kathleen Dunphy, Terri Miura, Randall Sexton, and Bill Davidson. I enjoyed every single one of these workshops for the discoveries of how similar problems can be solved completely differently by different people, for the great know-hows, and for the camaraderie that without fail develops among people fascinated by nature and striving to capture its beauty.

Except for a few still life pieces, all my paintings were done exclusively en plein air. I hope the atrwork displayed here brings you joy and provides inspiration. Please, contact me if you wish to see any of the images in high resolution.


Glen Kramer,
2012

Copyright © 2017 Glen Kramer.
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