“Earthly Delights” is the title of a selection of contemporary realism still life paintings by Scott Fraser, which has been on view at Jenkins Johnson Gallery (San Francisco, California).
Enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at Fraser’s painting process in this preview.
Contemporary Realism: 20 Earthly Delights
By Scott Fraser
My paintings are highly realized so they need to be grounded technically. That said, I would take an interesting painting over an empty but well-crafted piece of art any day. With enough time and determination anyone can learn technique, but finding what makes a work memorable is much more elusive. To be emotive with your brush — that can’t be taught.
Many of my more complex pieces require pre-studies. This is where I work out the kinks before tackling the painting itself. For me, painting is an outgrowth of my understanding of drawing. It all goes back to that hand-eye training.
As far as my painting process goes, I use a high-key acrylic underpainting washed in like watercolor so it is very transparent, over an acrylic gessoed ground. I sand/scrape and manipulate this layer a lot before starting in on the alla prima over-painting in oil. This is thick and opaque, but still luminous, only to be grayed later by detail and a number of coats scumbled on or glazed transparently.
Later on I seal the whole thing with Liquin and then keep working it subtly until it feels right. This technique is similar to that used by Richard Estes. I had the good fortune of staying on his property in Maine one summer as part of a fellowship he sponsored. I picked up some great tips, just talking shop with him.