Talmage Minter studied art and tried for a while to be farther out than
others. When he had a one-man show, he looked around at it and
decided it just wasn't beautiful. He then turned to commercial
art, which he still does, here in Waco. After seeing and painting
a church that appealed to him, he discovered that both he and others
liked what he had done with it. Since then, he has been touring
Texas photographing and painting historic churches.
He showed us several examples of
his paintings, and told us that he starts
by composing a painting by cropping and otherwise altering a photograph
to get the effect he wants. Then he prints the photo with grid
lines on it so that he can transfer the layout to the canvas easily.
You can see the one he used for the demo above the painting at the left.
He lays down a background tone on the entire canvas surface, draws a
light pencil set of gridlines, and sketches the scene with brushed lines
of thinned paint. Then he uses a medium sized brush to apply
patches of what will be approximately the final colors, letting some of
the background color show through to unify the entire painting. A
third layer refines the details, and a fourth may be needed to touch up
He works "lean to fat," meaning
that the first layer is thinned with mineral spirits, and each
succeeding layer has a higher percentage of linseed oil. The first
layer is sometimes acrylic,
so that it will dry quickly and allow him to move on. The second
layer is usually straight out of the tube, while later layers have
increasing amounts of linseed oil added. This is intended to
reduce the tendency of oils to crack with age.
The painting he brought to work on was a door of a church in Paint Rock.
On the photograph, shown at the right, he digitally pasted a rose bush
next to the door to improve the composition. He also vignetted the
edges and adjusted the colors and contrast of the photo to make it
resemble what he had in mind for the final painting.
He began with the sketch and some of the second layer in place.
During the demo, he did much of the rest of the second layer, but
avoided the detailed parts of the gingerbread over the door and its
shadow on the door, which will require more time and concentration than
is available during a demo. The painting at the end of the demo is
at the right. Compare it to the photo in the paragraph above.
We thank Talmage for an
interesting afternoon. By generously sharing with us his
techniques and aspirations, he gave us a glimpse into the workings of a
accomplished artist that may help us improve our own work. Thanks
also to Christine Niekamp, Ellen Foster, Bobbee Watts and Judy Franklin
for refreshments, and to those who brought things for show and tell,
examples of which are shown below.
Show and Tell
Judy Franklin Rose Jacobson
Lyster (photo) Linda