Paintings from Sunset Series by Spence Munsinger, Color Field + Blank White Canvas + Realism + Contemporary Abstract Art, original paintings for sale

"Drawing is like making an expressive gesture with the advantage of permanence."
― Henri Matisse

Bright, brilliant stark raving color…

 

Bright, brilliant, stark-raving color, "Paper" app on iPad, by spence munsinger

 

What I love about painting is color. Brilliant, bright, stark raving color, and for me, painting has always been that dimension.

In 7th grade I took a photography class. We were tasked with working with black & white film. The development and printing for black & white film are simpler than color, the equipment is less expensive. The demands in creating images are to work with shape and tone and composition, and learn the mechanics of exposure. I had a feeling of dismay, a visceral sinking deep in my stomach, at dropping away the medium of color.

It was anathema.

In painting classes, I took solace in the burnt umber shades and tones in under-paintings. At least they had that much soft warm brown, almost sepia, color left. Black and white and greys would have been much harder and harsher…

Black & white film was a huge adjustment, one it took more than the entire class semester to get over. I now love black and white photography.

 

B&W Photograph of glass vase by Spence Munsinger

B&W Photograph of glass vase

 

I love the dropping away of everything but tone and shadow and light and dark. It is the essentials of form. And it has a softness, like seeing in shadows, in the twilight. There’s a nostalgia to it now that was not there in my younger self. I saw the small 3″x4″ photographs of my family and childhood as a primitive graphic representation of a life lived, and I had the arrogant assumption of eternity and timelessness, the embrace of the vivid ethereal color available in color film.

But in painting – God I love color.

 

— spence

 

black and white film…

Someone asked why film, in a discussion that has gone from 6 January 2011 to now.

I answered that I love the quality of light in a 6 x 7cm TriX black and white negative,
developed conservatively in D76 1:1, scanned and then printed. I don’t think there
is a match in Photoshop to get the same quality. Approximations, sure, but not that
luminous certainty silver grain brings.

I shoot medium format color with a Mamiya RZ67 Pro II and 110mm lens on a stable tripod (heavy)
and with cable release and mirror lock up, bracketed focussing, to then scan at 4000 DPI on a Nikon
9000ED film scanner, and arrive at a raw capture size of 8200 x 11000 pixels, or a usable 75 Megapixels.
Which means I can print that 30″ x 40″ painting at 30″ x 40″ with minimal Photoshop upsizing.

No digital can yet match it. And I get archival storage (with some color fading over time) intrinsic to the medium.

I shoot digital too. But it has a long way to go to replace the experience of film. Digital cameras obscure
the process and the art of this, as art created in digital programs instead of through working with physical
materials lacks the texture and substance. An additional experience but not a replacement or an obsoleteness.

——spence