Sunday, October 18, 2009

"Rail Bridge Over the 101 Freeway" and the RAY TURNER exhibition at the Pasadena Museum of California Art

I have been drawn to painting bridges for over a dozen years, all throughout my career as an artist, even before I went to Art Center. This new piece is called "Rail Bridge Over the 101 Freeway", oil on canvas, 16 x 20 inches. And I think it's one of my favorites. The actual bridge can be seen while driving up the 101 freeway, between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. I was actually on my way up to visit my new San Luis Obispo gallery during the Labor Day weekend when I was inspired to do this particular piece. I'm now exhibiting work at the Just Looking Gallery on Higuera Street, be sure to check it out if you're in the area... http://www.justlookinggallery.com/

When I was a student at Art Center, as you may know, I was also working at the Mendenhall Gallery in Pasadena. I got to work closely with some great painters who exhibited there, like Richard Bunkall, Sally Storch, R. Kenton Nelson, Raimonds Staprans, Mark Ryden, and many others. I moonlighted as a studio assistant to some of the artists, including Ray Turner, who is having a show right now at the Pasadena Museum of California Art. Be sure to check it out before it closes on January 31, 2010. There is also an impressive Wayne Thiebaud show in the main gallery... http://www.pmcaonline.org/exhibits/_main/index.html

When I worked with Ray, I was fortunate enough to collect some of his original works. Since the current exhibition at the Pasadena Museum includes his portraits, I thought I'd share just a few of those originals that I have (above and below).

Ray Turner's new book that accompanies the exhibition includes a section dedicated to a handful of portraits he did of his friend "Joe". Ray used to paint Joe every day until Joe passed away. The above painting is one such piece from my collection, a small 4 x 5.5 inches.

This piece above is part of his series of portraits of horses and jockeys, done in the 1990's.
Ray is renowned for his monumental landscapes. Here's a Turner landscape hanging over the couch in my living room, I love the industrial image. Nobody can paint a sky like Ray Turner, they are incredible, smokey, hazy, moody... http://www.rayturnerart.com/

15 comments:

Sheila said...

I was just thinking about you and here you are with a new post. Awesome. I love bridge and overpasses. I hope to paint one half as well as you one day. I am soooooooo envious you got to work with Ray Turner love his stuff!

tonypetersart said...

Hi Sheila,

I'm trying to make it a point to post new stuff here to my blog once a week. I've been spotty with my updates in the past, and I want to give people a reason to return often.

Glad you enjoyed my new bridge piece! Working with Ray was definitely a high-point during my college days. Watching a great painter work, seeing what it takes to "make it" in the dream to become a career artist. I owe him a huge debt of gratitude.

william wray said...

This is my favorite painting of yours to date ... Love the brushwork and letting the underpainting show.
Don't listen to your students!
Can we see a better shot of the RT in your living room?

tonypetersart said...

Thanks, Bill, that's mighty high praise! It's always challenging for me to maintain transparency in a painting, I have to be super-conscious about it from the beginning stages.

I'll do another posting to show off more of my big Turner landscapes in the future.

Kathy said...

The bridge painting is very powerful. It has weight. Great concept.

tonypetersart said...

Kathy, I appreciate your comments. There is something powerful about standing in the presence of one of these massive bridges. It feels looming and heavy, for some reason it sticks with me. I always hope to convey that sense in my bridge paintings.

Hattermad said...

That piece is a classic example of compositional precision...WOW.

Been admiring the Turner portraits for a bit now since they came up on his site and else where, as a series it must be mind blowing to see them hung together in their setting...and too am envious, having that piece on your wall....

tonypetersart said...

Hattermad,

Thanks! I'm grateful for your enthusiasm, it's great when other artists especially enjoy one of my pieces.

Ray Turner's work has always impressed me, I love the originals that I have. Viewing them reveals a lesson in painting to me each time, that's why I think it's important for an artist to find a way to collect. I still take every opportunity I can to go see his paintings in person.

Ed Terpening said...

You've really captured the immensity and stature of this bridge with your viewpoint and composition. Bravo!

tonypetersart said...

Hi Ed, thank you!

jeremie lederman said...

Tony man,

the texture and organic qualities on this really stand out. I love the spontaneous nature of this piece.

great palette as always!

tonypetersart said...

Jeremie,

Always good to hear from you, man. I know you've seen my stuff that's similar to this piece, glad you like it. I'm actually working on one more bridge piece right now, very different in composition from anything I've previously tried.

billspaintingmn said...

I was just looking at "the Rail
Bridge Over the 101 Freeway" and
had the sensation of stairing up
under the bridge with my head up!
Composition, color, and brush work
make for an enjoyable piece of art.
Ray Turner is new to me, thanks
for the introduction.

tonypetersart said...

Glad you enjoy the piece, Bill, fortunately it didn't remain available for long... I just sold it today.

Keep watching for images of Ray Turner's paintings, I'll post more in the future. He's amazing.

LSaeta said...

I really enjoyed your post today. We too have a Ray Turner painting hanging in our living room. My husband had Ray paint one for a gift (for me!) of the baseball fields down in the Arroyo here in South Pasadena. It is a show stopper and I absolutely love it! We went to the opening of his show and enjoyed all of the portraits ... my husband's portrait is featured in the show and we saw so many other familiar faces. What an amazing collection of portrait paintings he has put together in this show.
Love your artwork. I am a huge fan!