When you see the still life painting by Chuck Rosenthal titled “Fruit Harvest #5” at his website gallery, it seems as though you can feel the textures. Of course, if you touch the painting, you will only feel paint, but the thick, rough gold and purple cloth with smooth, cool purple grapes resting on it, brings up the feelings in the mind. The artist’s concept and execution of the painting is very real.
A Rosenthal still life is a masterwork of light and shadow, contrast of color and texture. To fully get the idea, you have to see the paintings. His comments on his own still life work were, “My preference for still life is in the fact that I am in complete control of the placement of the elements and the light. I am influenced by very good painters when I seek to do anything. I picture the works that they have done and try to keep in mind those really fine works that I have seen when I’m working. I’m always looking for contrasts.”
He says he is continually looking for things that are “visually exciting.” That could include people or landscapes and the way the light falls at a particular time in a particular kind of weather.
When asked what inspires him to paint, the artist said, “Contrasts; light and shade, contrasts of form (e.g. a broad, nondescript stretch of sky with strong geometric shapes silhouetted against it), counterpoint in the composition, subtleties of light, atmospheric effects on objects and in general, strong drawing, objects receding into shadow and then erupting into the light.”
In 1963 Chuck Rosenthal set out to become a commercial artist. He studied at the National Academy of Design in New York City. He wanted to learn how to draw in order to do illustrations, but three months of study caused the idea of commercial art to go out the window and he decided to pursue fine art. Part of this decision was due to his teacher and mentor, Morton Roberts, who was an excellent illustrator and fine artist himself.
Many awards came his way for his artwork while he was at the National Academy. A scholarship to the academy and the Dr. Weller student prize were at the top of the list. In 1968 he gained membership to America’s oldest and most venerated arts and letters club, the Salmagundi Club, through efforts of another of his teachers, Daniel Greene.
Since the year 2000, several awards at local art shows have come his way, including two first places and a third place. One of his paintings hangs at Clearwater City Hall. His pastel work of a local landmark, Clearwater Memorial Bridge was selected for an international juried competition.
Several of his paintings are on exhibit at the Park Place Gallery in Kansas City, Missouri. You can see his present works on his website Chuck Rosenthal Fine Art.