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WARREN W. KESSLER

“In an age when things are only expected to last for a few short years, I appreciate knowing the products from Natural Pigments are intended to last for generations.”


ABOUT THE ARTIST

Warren W. Kessler has received national recognition for his oil, watercolor, and acrylic paintings, earning multiple awards and accolades. Featured in several prominent art magazines, including American Art Collector, Fine Art Connoisseur, Professional Artist Magazine, and Acrylic Artist Magazine, he was named in “Ones to Watch” in Watercolor Artist Magazine.

His artwork has been collected nationally and internationally and is included in private, corporate, and museum collections.

Kessler is currently exploring two bodies of work in seeming opposition to each other. His plein air paintings express an impression of the landscape, while his trompe l’oeil paintings capture in exacting detail a story he wishes to tell.

He studied painting and drawing at Minnesota State University Moorhead, earning his Bachelor of Fine Art Degree in 1999.

Warren currently lives and works in Fargo, North Dakota.


ARTIST STATEMENT

Illusion, story, and the sense of “I have been there,” are just a few of the key effects I seek to represent in my paintings. I often work in two drastically different styles: trompe l’oeil (French for “to fool the eye”) and en plein air (French for “in the open air”).

I delight in the interaction people have with the illusions my trompe l’oeil paintings present. They question what they think they see-even after being told it is entirely painted. They can’t be certain it is “just” paint despite seeing it up close with their own eyes.

Trompe l’oeil paintings force the viewer to question what they see and think at that moment and to acknowledge that their perception of reality is simply an illusion. Most gratifying to me as a painter is to use paint to create something the viewer thinks she sees, but that is not actually in front of her.

In contrast, landscapes painted en plein air are not an attempt at visual illusion but an effort to create an impression of a place and time the viewer knows. I use expressive brushstrokes in these paintings, and enact a play between thick and thin paint. I don’t intend for the viewer to question what is there but rather to have an emotional interaction. I want viewers of these paintings to think “This reminds me of the place we visited.”


WARREN W. KESSLER ON NATURAL PIGMENTS

Why Rublev Colours and Natural Pigments products? To me the answer is quite simple. In an age when things are only expected to last for a few short years, I appreciate knowing the products from Natural Pigments are intended to last for generations.

I want to know what I am using and that my painting materials are of the highest quality. Rublev is made by people who care about making the best possible products.

I strive to produce the best possible work by choosing to use the best possible materials and methods, Natural Pigments provides both.

George and Tatiana, through Natural Pigments, provide products of the utmost quality. They have the research and science to prove it. When you buy products from Natural Pigments there is no guessing as to what is in the package, it is listed. The material in the product is there for a reason and they can tell you why.

One of my favorite statements from George regarding an artist’s painting process is “What is the function? If you can’t find a reason for using something don’t use it.” They apply the same sentiment to their products. They only contain the material required to do the job. Breaking the painting down into bare basics is vital. Know your materials. Everything is connected, from the substrate to the frame and everything in-between. The knowledge provided through the forums and direct questions to George and Tatiana are invaluable.

Each paint color has its own characteristics, something that at first can be a surprise to work with. After getting to know the paint, this property is a great benefit. You can use this to your advantage by letting the paint do the work of portraying a certain material. Painting mainly in the trompe l’oeil style, the ability to make the viewer question what they are looking at is crucial, Rublev paint and products make this task much easier.

One of the few mediums I use in my paint is Rublev Colours Oleogel. Oleogel has become the one product I absolutely can’t do without. It is a versatile medium made of linseed oil and fumed silica that serves many purposes on my pallet. I choose it when I need the paint to flow better or for a bit more transparency. I like that it is a gel and I can put a dab on my pallet and it will stay there. Since it’s a gel don’t need a cup to hold it and don’t have to worry about it spilling, unlike a traditional linseed oil. I can grab a bit and mix it directly into the color I need and continue painting. It is also be helpful if oiling in, creating a couche, or glazing. I have also found rubbing a little Oleogel into my wooden pallet after cleaning off the paint removes any excess color left behind as well as conditioning the wood.