I started studying art in 1963 with an extraordinary illustrator/fine artist named Morton Roberts at the National Academy of Design in NYC. I soon forgot about commercial art. Roberts fired up my desire to paint and succeed as a fine artist and I have never really left that path. But I did change my viewpoint on style and content. Roberts untimely death was a huge tragedy and a great disappointment for me because I believed he had so much to teach. Roberts was followed by abstract artist, Hugh Gumpel and under Hugh I won the Dr. Al Weil student prize at the National Academy. Eventually I began to look around for another teacher and found Daniel Greene, an outstanding portrait painter and studied with him for the next couple of years. Dan helped me to get a scholarship membership in the Salmagundi Club where I managed to gain an honorable mention in their scholarship members’ exhibition and competition.
During this time I became aware of and became an intense admirer of the work of still-life artist and portrait painter David Leffel. I sought to present my images in a similar light. I actually studied with Leffel for a couple of months in his New York City studio, but it wasn’t enough time to grasp where he was coming from and how he made his decisions and drew his conclusions, so I pretty much had to teach myself.
Technique had always been very important to me and I originally did dead-color preparations for my paintings, much as the Old Masters did (dead-color paintings are monochromatic paintings over which colors are glazed), but I became more interested in tonal results rather than the sculptural results achieved by 17th century painters. I was probably somewhat influenced by Impressionism and definitely by modern-day tonalist work. I have become fascinated with the effects of light, particularly as an object emerges from shadow into light. I seek to represent what I see, to the best of my ability, in terms of light and atmosphere.
I have managed to achieve some degree of artistic success. In 2010 I was accepted as a member of the Oil Painters of America and was a finalist in American Artist Magazine’s annual cover competition.
Find out more about Chuck Rosenthal at Chuck Rosenthal Fine Art