"Cityscapes" upcoming Group show at George Billis Gallery, June 27 to July 22, opening reception June 29, 6 - 8 pm, 525 W 26th Street, NYC, www.georgebillis.com. The gallery is conveniently located next to High Line Park in Chelsea.
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Excerpts from my recent article "From Plein Air Sketch to Finished Studio Painting" in PleinAir Magazine, Dec. 2016-Jan. 2017 expanded digital edition. For the full article see www.pleinairmagazine.com
Peet's on Mission Street, 2016, oil on panel, 12 x 12 in., 30 x 30 cm.
Happy New Year, may your 2017 be filled with joy, prosperity, and tolerance!
American Art Collector Feature Article, May 2016 issue, for George Billis Gallery Exhibition, April 26 to May 21, pages 106-107. Please join us at 525 West 26th Ave., Ground Floor, New York, NY, 10001, georgebillis.com. Two additional images of the exhibition brochure are also included.
Please join me for my first solo exhibition in New York City. It will take place April 26 to May 21 at George Billis Gallery, 525 West 26th street, Ground Floor, between 10th and 11th Avenues, New York, NY, 10001. www.georgebillis.com. Reception will be Thursday, April 28, 6 to 8 pm. Below is the April/May 2016 issue of International Artist magazine with some of the work that will be exhibitied in the show.
Figures and Interiors, John Pence Gallery, 750 Post St., San Francisco, 94109, www.johnpence.com, Nov. 20 to Dec. 31, 2015.
Dean Larson, "Duomo, Night," 2014, oil on canvas, 42 x 36 in. (c) Dean Larson 2015
Exploration of the Everyday
Andrew Webster Reporting
Editor, Fine Art Today
Painters often have an acute awareness of their surroundings, constantly taking in the sights, sounds, and emotions of unique places before translating those experiences into beautiful images. Artist Dean Larson has not only mastered this process, he has infused his paintings with an experimental nature that could defy categorization.
For Dean Larson, a painting’s subject will often reveal itself as he goes about his exploration of the everyday world — something that visually excites his eyes. “As soon as I step foot outside, my eye is always looking for new subjects,” he writes. “Often what’s most important is how the light falls onto the scene or reflects off different surfaces.” From this moment, Larson begins his work, typically approaching the painting at the center of his canvases first before working outward and organically. “In addition to capturing how the light hits the subject, my process also emphasizes variety and unequal distribution of shapes and edges,” he continues.
Dean Larson, “San Lorenzo Market,” 2015, oil on canvas, 12 x 9 in. (c) Dean Larson 2015
Larson’s unique methods come to the fore in an outstanding picture of Florence, Italy’s most iconic structure: the Duomo. Capturing the majestic church just as night begins to blanket the city, the Duomo shines like a beacon, its well-illuminated walls contrasting beautifully against a royal blue sky. The feathery and expressive brushwork enlivens the canvas, vibrating on the surface of the work and surely echoing the bustling crowds below. Particularly noteworthy is the elegant play of rectangular roofs as they dance back and forth, receding into the painting’s main subject. Also eye-catching is the cool glow of a greenish hue on the walls of a structure to the center right.
“San Lorenzo Market” is another magnetic picture done in Florence. Executed en plein air, a delightful quilting of pattern, shape, and color composes the umbrellas, merchants, and customers as they stroll down a narrow street. Larson recounts, “My initial intention was to paint the activity of the market and show the wonderful shapes of the umbrellas and tarps that the vendors use to cover their stands. I found a terrific spot behind some stalls, between two doorways. While I was working there, many of the vendors would come and check on the progress of the work. At one point one of them asked, 'Hey, where am I?' Eventually the figures became a little abstract so whoever came up I would be able to say, “Yes, that’s you right there!'”
Dean Larson, “Children with Canoe,” 2015, oil on panel, 8 x 14 in. (c) Dean Larson 2015
Larson’s discerning eye also extends into figurative work, especially portraiture, as “The Cello Player — Portrait of Michael Grebanier” can attest. The subject, found in full view and seated, immerses himself in his beautiful craft, his expression conveying such calm and artfulness. Once again, Larson’s expressive brushwork activates the surface of the portrait, a captivating duality with the work’s musical subject.
Dean Larson, “The Cello Player – Portrait of Michael Grebanier,” 2007, oil on canvas, 30 x 24 in. (c) Dean Larson 2015
The future is bright for Dean Larson, as he plans to mount several exhibitions in both New York City and San Francisco. “In 2016 I hope to mount an exhibition at George Billis Gallery in New York City. After that I hope to mount future shows at John Pence Gallery in San Francisco, and who knows where else! Wherever life takes me, my intention is to get out and let the work be my guide.”
Join us for my upcoming one man exhibition from September 11 to October 10, 2015, at John Pence Gallery, 750 Post Street, San Francisco, CA. Opening reception will be September 11, 6 to 8 pm. www.johnpence.com.
My painting "Fishermen, Freetown" was added to the permenant collection of the New Field Foundation of San Rafael, CA (www.newfieldfound.org) in December, 2014. New Field supports rural women's organizations to advance their rights, knowledge and resources in peaceful and creative ways. Through its main grantmaking program Rural Women Creating Change, New Field Foundation supports African rural women, their organizations and networks in sub-Saharan Africa to increase their agency over resources, information and policy. Please visit their website for more information.
Converting Inches to Centimeters for Common Artist's Canvases
Size in Inches Size in Centimeters (rounded to the nearest whole number)
5 x 7 13 x 18
6 x 8 15 x 20
8 x 10 20 x 25
9 x 12 23 x 30
10 x 12 25 x 30
11 x 14 28 x 36
12 x 16 30 x 41
14 x 18 36 x 46
16 x 20 41 x 51
18 x 24 46 x 61
20 x 24 51 x 61
22 x 28 56 x 71
24 x 30 61 x 76
30 x 30 76 x 76
24 x 36 61 x 91
36 x 36 91 x 91
30 x 40 76 x 102
40 x 40 102 x 102
36 x 48 91 x 122
48 x 48 122 x 122
48 x 60 122 x 152
48 x 72 122 x 183
In June/July, 2013, Dean, along with Carolyn Meyer, Bill Maughan and Suzanne D'Arcy taught painting in Florence, Italy as part of the Academy of Art Summer Abroad Program. 19 Students painted en plein air for seven and a half weeks in and around Florence, as well as Cortona, Venice and Rome.
in November of 2011 Dean was commissioned by the State of Alaska to create a portrait of the late United States Senator Ted Stevens. The Commission was completed in February, 2012 and unveiled at the Alaska State Musuem in Juneau. From there the portrait was moved to the Alaska State Capitol where it hangs along with the portraits of Senators Ernest Gruening and Bob Bartlett.