“Burning Both Ends” Oil, 18×14, Winner of Narrative Excellence from the NOAPS 2016 Fall Online International
The narrative of the painting by Hans Guerin is immediately seen; our culture is very familiar with the metaphor, “Burning the Candle at Both Ends”. In this well-constructed painting, we clearly see the effect of stress on the figure’s face: the downcast eyes and mouth, the sheen of perspiration on the face, the dark background suggesting night, and even the clothing all tell us the story. Add to that the exquisite painting skills, and the result is a compelling painting.
“Mother Earth” Oil on Linen, 48×36
Hans Guerin grew up in a family of artists going back six generations, including sculptors, carvers, medical illustrators, and portraitists. Earning first a political science degree, Hans went on to study at the Schuler School of Fine Arts, where he is now an instructor and assistant Director. As one can plainly see, art is his true calling.
“Out of the Ether” Oil on Linen, 26×30
Hans tends to work in multiple genres, all in a very realistic style. His work often reflects a narrative, where he imparts his personal thoughts and wisdoms through the use of imagery. He exaggerates the colors, values and forms to create an effect that attracts the viewer’s attention from across a room.
“The Nocturne”, Oil on Panel, 24×16, Private Collection
Although the artist has developed his own authentic style, he considers Peter Paul Rubens to be the greatest of the Old Masters; “He represents unchained mastery. Any composition however daunting or fantastic can be actualized, as seen in Rubens body of work.” Of contemporary artists, he credits Ann Schuler for her artistic wisdom, and his wife, also a graduate of the Schuler School, for her expert advice.
Mediums and genres vary for Hans; he has worked in scratchboard, acrylic, sculpture, watercolor and pastel, occasionally creating multimedia pieces. He is known for his still life paintings, but also paints landscapes, wildlife, portraits and figures.
“The Shell Collection” Oil on Mounted Linen, 24×18, Private Collection.
Introspection generates ideas for Hans, and he actualizes these ideas by working mostly from life. He often starts with thumbnail sketches on graph paper, which help when the drawing is transferred to the canvas. He then blocks in the shapes directly in color. When painting a living object such as fruit, flowers, or a model, he will create a sketch from life that he can later use for the final painting. He also paints plein air on occasion, which he later uses to create larger and more formal compositions.
Using paints he has made from scratch using black oil, his palette consists of Cremnitz white, Cadmium Lemon, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Cadmium Red Light, Alizarin Crimson, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber, Sap Green, Cerulean Blue, Ultramarine Blue and Ivory Black, and occasionally Permanent Rose and Dioxazine Violet. He also creates his own panels and canvases, or uses aluminum or copper as his support.
Hans has won many national awards and recognitions, quite too many to mention, but can be viewed on his website http://www.hansguerin.com. In his modesty he will site his marriage and child as his greatest accomplishment.
As an instructor, Hans would tell us to “Stay out of the comfort zone. You will grow as an artist struggling in the composition just beyond your ability, not by playing it safe.”
Hans Guerin is represented by Marine Arts Gallery, Marblehead, MA; Dog and Horse Fine Art and Portraiture, Charleston, SC; and his work can also be seen at the Schuler School of Fine Art in Baltimore, MD.
To view a YouTube of Hans’ process, go to http://www.youtube.com and search Hans Guerin.
To view more of the NOAPS Fall Online International, visit http://www.noaps.org.