“Feeling Your Touch”, 24×48, Oil on Canvas, Private Collection. This painting was juried into the 2017 Best of America Exhibition, and was given an Award of Excellence.
The dreamlike quality of softened light draws the eye toward the setting sun; the warm colors invite us in to a comfortable space where we can relax. The idealized scene begins in the clouds, and the warm red-golds lead us to the sunset, where we seek to discover what lies in the landscape. Such is the theme of the paintings by Ober-Rae Starr Livingstone: “I find inspiration in the light and color of sunrises and sunsets and in observing light playing on water, or the changing dynamics of light and shadow as the sun moves across a landscape.”
“Every Moment”, 36×48, Acrylic, Miller Gallery. This painting was a winner of the Artist Magazine 2015 Over 60 Competition and appeared on the cover of the March 2016 issue.
Livingstone has learned his craft through careful study. He began by painting signs and posters for his father’s lectures, and continued to be encouraged in his pursuit of painting by both his parents. His path has been mostly self-taught, with only a few painting workshops to guide him. He observed the quality of light and color found in paintings by such artists as Mark Rothko, Jules Olitski, and Albert Bierstadt. He found that he needed technical expertise such as that found in work by Salvador Dali. Then, artist Larry Rivers encouraged him to seek his own personal vision, which has led him to the unique and expressive paintings that are his work today.
“That Moment”, 8×10, Oil, Castle Gallery
Ober-Rae currently paints in both oil and acrylic. His paintings are done on canvas or linen, usually stretched, or unstretched, when the painting must be shipped. In acrylics, he works mainly with Golden products, utilizing the Golden Open which allows a longer working time. When painting in oils he uses a range of brands including Winsor and Newton, Gamblin and Williamsburg. A day in the studio, which is most often his choice for painting, begins with an assessment of work, and choices on what to work on. He occasionally works en plein air, but his work is more suited for the studio setting. He begins with reference photos, but by the time he has finished his painting, it may offer no resemblance to the photo. He begins with a simplified drawing in pencil or charcoal, followed by loose brush work to fill in the shapes and values. From there he lets his expressive nature flourish, to find the end result that was emerging in his mind.
Progress of “Getting There”, 30×30, Acrylic, Miller Gallery
“Speaking Softly”, 30×40, Acrylic, Collection of the Artist.
Livingstone is grateful for having the opportunity to paint, to have an audience for his work, and for having been published and recognized for his vision. As he states: “What I know for sure is that it is essential to paint and then paint some more. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. What we often view as a mistake often turns out to be an opportunity to make a change and discover something unexpected, exciting, and uplifting.”
In the words of Marc Chagall: “If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing.”
In addition to his artistic success, Ober-Rae is also a member of the Board of Directors for the National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society.
Ober-Rae Starr Livingstone is represented by the Miller Gallery, Cincinnati, OH; the Castle Gallery, Fort Wayne, IN; and the Liz Beth Gallery, Knoxville, TN. To see more of his work, visit www.ober-rae.com.
To see more of the 2017 Best of America Exhibition, visit www.noaps.org/events
Written by Patricia Tribastone, NOAPS Blog Director