Artist's Statements

Most of my paintings are of modest size because I paint wherever I go, and am rarely without painting supplies. I carry them on foot, in a canoe, on my bike, on subways, in airplanes, on trains, busses, cars, trucks, golf carts, boats, and ships. Motorcycle might be next, and horseback even sounds good! Maybe even a rocket ship someday.

Painting en plein air offers special pleasures and special challenges. Shifting light, blowing wind, expanded time, serene stillness, chill dampness, falling snow, blazing sunshine, puzzled wildlife, and hungry insects are some of them. Most are surprising. Many are wonderful. Few are daunting. All are stimulating.


Artist's Statement

My works are usually executed, or at least begun, out of doors, on site ("en plein air"), and completed during one
or more painting sessions. One quickly discovers there is no substitute for direct response to the natural world:
photographs deceive, memory falters. I tend to choose subjects that offer opportunities for color expression,
suggest light capture, or provide compositional challenge. Taking the larger view, I believe, and I hope, that by
merely trusting to the rich visual bounty of virtually any subject, one can, potentially, infuse substantial, and
maybe even universal, emotional content into one's paintings.


Artist's Statement

My father was in the military and I grew up worldwide, with several years in Asia, and many more in Europe. Our family always explored the cultures we were in, and my mother took art classes, and sometimes I would go along. In school I was comfortable with academics, but really loved art best.

I have been painting since college (B.F.A., 1969 Ohio Wesleyan University, and M.A., UW Madison, 1970), and seriously since 1981 when I moved to rural Blanchardville, Wisconsin and began to paint outside (en plein air) as much as I could.

I enjoy switching between water and oil painting media, though I have experimented with both sculpture and mosaic. My inspiration arises
from a desire to capture the moment, the light, or some other hard to define compositional element that attracts my attention. For me the immediate subject matter is not the primary meaning of the work, and I always try to look deeper.

Artist's Statement

I am drawn to subjects with a domestic or a natural theme and use conventional approaches to convey nostalgia and tranquility. Not afraid of color, or experimentation, my early training as an abstract painter fuels my current approach to representational topics. I seek solid composition and playful and unexpected results. In painting I believe in balanced thinking: not too much not too little, and hopefully keeping both the painter and the viewer engaged.


Artist's Statement

I am drawn to subjects with a domestic or a natural theme, and use conventional approaches that convey nostalgia and tranquility. Not afraid of color, or experimentation, however, my early training as an abstract painter still fuels a current approach to realistic topics; I seek solid composition, but also playful and perhaps sometimes unexpected results. In painting, I believe, you have to balance your thinking: employing not too much or too little; thus, seeking to keep both the painter, and the viewer, intrigued, excited, entertained.

CHUCK BECKWITH STATEMENT:

Chuck Beckwith has been making mosaic works for many years, and uses a demanding, personal technique he has developed. He utilizes carefully fitted shards of commercial crockery, found objects such as glass doll eyes, small pieces of decorative jewelry, zippers, and images and letters discovered on the reverse side of plates, saucers, etc. Sometimes subtle visual puns and puzzling contradictions result, rewarding careful, patient scrutiny.

CHUCK BAUER

In our world light is elemental.

Light might be a symbol of infinity.

Of the many elements within a painting light is the one we see first, and what we see most clearly.

Exaggeration of color is one way to emphasize light.

Exaggeration of contrast is another. (The two unfinished paintings in this exhibition show light by exaggeration of contrast very clearly.)

In a painting using the built environment as a screen on which light falls also allows light to take center stage, to announce expression, and, hopefully, to hold attention.

Painting, as an activity, is a place where infinity touches earth.

Painting, as an object, records the touch.

All art is the symbolic transformation of reality.

Represented by Milward Farrell Fine Art, Madison, WI.

CHUCK BECKWITH

The ancient medium of mosaic easily lends itself to modern expression.

These works use both modern and traditional materials, as well as small fragments or whole found objects.

Chuck Beckwith has been making mosaic works for many years, and uses a demanding, personal technique he has developed. He utilizes carefully fitted shards of commercial crockery, found objects such as glass doll eyes, small pieces of decorative jewelry, dice, chains, coins, zippers, children’s toys & beads, and images and letters discovered on the reverse side of plates, saucers, etc. Sometimes subtle visual puns and puzzling contradictions result, rewarding careful, patient scrutiny.

So look carefully among the ceramic shards and porcelain and glass tesserae to see what you can find.

You may be surprised what you find.


RE: inspiration, motivation, subject matter, approach to the medium

My inspiration is light, specifically light falling on planes in the built environment. I especially like single family homes, and vintage homes are even better. Although I accept private commissions, I usually prefer to include at least part of at least one other structure, or house.

I am motivated by the challenge to make an interesting visual image from material that my not always be conventionally exciting, for example, backyards and the rear sides of buildings or other structures. Also the spaces between building always attract me.

My subject matter can vary quite a bit, and the season and the trees and shrubs commonly found in most neighborhoods add to my compositional flexibility and enjoyment. I manipulate a good many elements in any painting, and of course take liberties with color in order to engage the viewers (and myself) emotionally. For me, too, sudden high contrast shifts, exaggerated shadows, etc., tend to help convey light moving in an exciting way. I am always seeking drama. Sometimes abundant diagonals, or oblique angles, etc. can be helpful too.

Finally, the watercolor medium offers the spontaneity, and the adventure that seem to suit my personal approach - careful, but not too careful; accidental, but not too accidental; fast, but not too fast; flexible and elastic, but with some restraint; thinking hard before acting, but not too hard; working small scale, but not too small; etc.

--Chuck Bauer March 10, 2021

Sixty-Seven Selected Paintings - Beginning 1969

CHUCK BAUER

ctbauer.com

Thank you for taking a look at selected work from half an adult lifetime. As in all lives, some years were better than others.

The work is arranged chronologically going back in time down the hallway.

Several works represent the conventional discipline of formal academic workshops available locally and afar over the years. Other works might be considered more experimental. Most fall somewhere in-between.

My own private joke is, “Multiple Style Disorder,” while another might decern, “Uneven quality,” but in the end I think Picasso got it right when he said, “Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.”

THANKS AGAIN!

Chuck October 1, 2021


River Arts Gallery, STATEMENT, Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin May-Sept 2024

"Thank you for taking an interest in my printmaking.

"Making fine art prints is new to me (2022) and all the work here was made within the past few years. Traditional techniques suggest traditional subject matter, of course, and that's how most people start, including me.

"Eventually, as my confidence grew it was easy to try new approaches and so I did that, too.

"Today prints themselves are a kind of "poor relation", or, put another way, a minor key medium. They are largely out of favor in our fast paced and wound up world. That is because they are on paper, almost always modest in scale, usually humble in voice, often lack bright colors, trumpeting innovations, and harsh "slash and dash" techniques.

"They are, simply put, easily overlooked.

"That said, for me they have a kind of 'puppy dog in the window' appeal because they can be technically challenging and often require considerable time and devotion.

"Add to those features, I have noted over the years that many mature artists seek out printmaking in their later years. I have been a painter all my life, but once arriving in my mid-seventies I began to wonder what I was missing by never having made fine art prints. So I decided to find out.

"One of my first discoveries was that almost anything that has passed through a press has suddenly been stamped with a kind of unifying and legitimizing, Imprimatur, if you'll forgive the pun.

"Surprise creeps in, but is always held in check, and framed by unification, definition, and "pressure." The language is subtle, but unmistakable.

"So called 'plate marks' and 'plate tone' are only two examples. Another might be the markings and various attributions and other information appearing on the face of the print, traditionally in pencil, together with a signature, date, edition number, etc. All these small things add up and make prints special. At least they do for me.

"Ideally, successful work should speak for itself, but it cannot hurt to say I am seeking an expression anchored in nostalgia, but sometimes drifting into experiment.

"In printmaking, the kids play quietly, and they are often alone.

"So JOIN ME! Be part of the advance guard! Help lead the charge to bring back attention to fine art prints! Slow down, chill out, and listen to what they may have to say - often it's in a whisper."

"THANK YOU for being interested!

Sincerely,
CHUCK BAUER