Studies in Oil

Artist: Steve Whitworth
Exhibit dates: January 24 – February 14
Location: Tinnin Gallery; hours 12-3 p.m. Monday-Friday
Admission: Free
Artist Lecture: 12 p.m. January 24, PLST 108
Reception: 1-3 p.m. January 26, Tinnin Gallery

Oil paintings with a palette emulating the Technicolor of movies such as “Rear Window,” and structure and design inspired by Edward Hopper.

Whitworth loves to work in oil paint because it allows him to construct the image he’s trying to convey. He takes photos of the subject matter he wants to paint and uses them as a reference to achieve what he has pictured in his mind. Without the photos, he feels he misses too many details that explain and enhance the image. The photos also capture the light and shadow of that moment. Whitworth calls his finished works, “frozen moments.” He loves to put in little details, like cracks in the road and sidewalks, that speak to the condition of that place and time. A record of the way it was or is. He likes to see how many familiar buildings he can include in the same frame or interesting angles in nature. Every good painting has to have a strong design, a good composition.

Whitworth loves the Technicolor movies from Hollywood because the color in those movies was even richer than in real life. Therefore, he loves the palette of the French Impressionists, but the structure and design of Edward Hopper. He’s gravitated more toward Hopper’s clean design elements, but with more little details that he finds fun to include. He doesn’t attempt photo-realism but prefers “painterly-reality.” He likes for the observer to be able to get lost in what he’s put down on canvas. Whitworth tries to entertain the viewer with what he’s included, and what he’s excluded.