In an effort to showcase the talent and skills of one of our artists, we asked Mineral Point artist Brian Stuart if he would start a painting in our gallery, during the recent Fall Art Tour in mid- October. Brian thought the idea was wonderful. With the exception of an occasional trip outdoors to paint en plein air, Brian normally paints indoors in his studio, and usually in solitude. And although he frequently paints still lifes, he might be most passionate about portraiture. So he chose to start a portrait in our very public gallery space, during the busy Fall Art Tour.
Who to paint? Brian wanted a distinguished face. Someone who might be recognizable to “Pointers” as they stopped-in or strolled by, would only be a plus. A Mineral Point artist, well known to us as Laura Cisler, happened to have a father who was a retired businessman; a nonagenarian, and who later in life, fell in love with painting. Enter Ralph Martin. When asked by his daughter if he would like to sit for a portrait--in a gallery--his answer was yes!
Ralph sat for Brian on the busy Fall Art Tour Saturday, and again on Sunday. He took the crowded gallery, noise and activity all in stride. He returned the following two weekends to sit for few more hours each day. During all this time Brian and Ralph struck-up something more than a painter-subject banter. Ralph soaked-up Brian’s on-going explanation of technique and methodology with the zeal of a young student. Their time together was not only special for them--it was touching to everyone got a glimpse of their rich connection.
Brian Stuart is unveiling Ralph Martin’s portrait at Wantoot on Saturday, December 5 at 1:00 pm. It will be on display in the gallery through December.