Thursday, June 27, 2019

Motion of Joy

Mixed media on canvas, 24 x 48 inches
Back in the 90's I did a fair bit of abstract art and am once again experimenting with the style. What I love most about it is the rhythm, flow and color.

Artwork on Loan from May 9th to August 8th, 2019

For three months, fourteen of my paintings will be on display in a new medical facility in North Bethesda, Maryland. After seeing and admiring my work online, I was contacted with a offer by the owners to display my paintings as an enhancement to their new office space. This opportunity provides exposure for my work.

Schuster Painting purchased in Iowa

I received an email  in May from an economics professor at Iowa State University. He had purchased one of my paintings and was requesting information about it.  The painting is an acrylic on acid free rag board. It is an abstract that was inspired by the rural landscapes of Western Maryland. 

Saturday, February 2, 2019

“Untitled” - Acrylic painting of a cracked, decomposing marble slab from the garden

I think of this painting as symbolizing decomposition/death and renewal/life – the life cycle. The marble slab is in the process of decay and the grasses pushing up through the cracks, as well as the dung beetle are in the process of generating new life. The texture of the marble as it decomposes from the elements, especially acid rain, is what attracted me to this project and what I tried to capture. 

Friday, February 1, 2019

CVA Exhibit February 3 - April 7, 2019

Honored to once again have my work selected for the Cumberland Valley Artists Exhibition at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, Hagerstown, MD. Convergence is a palette knife, acrylic painting on linen. The juror for the exhibit is Eric Key, Director of Arts at the University of Maryland University College. The exhibit runs from February 3-April 7, 2019.

Landscape Quote by Claude Monet

"For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right, since its appearance changes at every moment; but the surrounding atmosphere brings it to life - the light and the air which vary continually. For me, it is only the surrounding atmosphere which gives subjects their true value."


Brushwork can be highly individual. It can also be highly expressive conveying the mood of a painting. Brushwork is like handwriting. It creates a unique and distinctive look to each artist’s painting. 

How I Paint Landscapes

Whether painting landscapes and portraits on either paper or on canvas, I always begin with an underpainting. Using yellow ochre and either burnt or raw sienna, depending on the scene, I’ll lay in the light, medium, and dark tones. Then I’ll lay out my palette beginning with titamium white and moving from warm to cool colors. I use a large piece of glass edged in tape and built-up paint for my palette.  When painting in acrylic I use Golden heavy body paints and am generous in the amounts I place on my palette. I keep the palette moist with a fine spray of purified water.

Working from nature I’ll do a small color sketch or a pencil sketch with color notes and take lots of photographs for reference to use in the studio. I base my paint choices on these references. I use palette knives or brushes or a combination of both to create the painting. I build up layers of paint defining and refining the image. Sometimes I’ll add additional layers of other media such as oil crayons.

About My Landscape Art

The color, texture, and mood, defined by the play of light on the surface of a landscape, has always intrigued me. The contrast can range from sharp and crisp to soft and luminous, but it is always exciting, sometimes mysterious, and often surprising. The challenge is to capture it.

Having spent my early years in a densely populated area of New Jersey fenced in by buildings and industry, I sought the refuge of small city parks where I learned to appreciate the serenity and beauty of nature. As a child, as many children have, before there ever were video games,  cell phones, and iPads, I would lie down on a patch of grass and stare up at the panoramic wonder of the sky with its ever changing cloud formations. When I paint a sky full of clouds I am reminded of that childhood wonder.

How Do You Know When Your Painting is Finished

I was talking to a fellow artist recently when he asked me how I know when a painting is finished. Now that’s a tricky question, and one that occurs to me all the time. He admitted that he is never sure when his paintings are finished. Making the decision to stop is difficult. I sometimes have the same dilemma. Stopping too soon can result in a piece that lacks vitality or is simply under-worked. On the other hand, continuing to rework a painting can cause the painting to lose its vigor and freshness.  Stepping back can help. With the painting out of sight for a while, it can be viewed with a fresh perspective when seen again. I’ve done this many times and often repeatedly with the same painting. Sometimes the decision is to start over; other times a few touches can make a tremendous difference.

“It is difficult to stop in time because one gets carried away. But I have that strength; it is the only strength I have” – Claude Monet