BUTCH KRIEGER

“I believe that we are in the midst of a Second Renaissance of representational art. Moreover, I consider Natural Pigments to be a vanguard in that spontaneous, grass-roots movement.”


ABOUT THE ARTIST

Butch Krieger has been a professional artist for over 45 years. For 18 of those years he was a courtroom sketch artist. (You can see an example of his courtroom at Courtroom Sketch.) His credits include CBS New, CNN, USA Today, the Associated Press, and the German news magazine Neue Review.

He has a B.A. in the dual majors of Political Science and in the Social and Behavioral Sciences (California State University, Dominguez Hills), an M.A. in Political Science (University of California, Riverside), as well as an M.A. in Art History (Brigham Young University, Provo). Krieger is the author of Watercolor Basics: People (North Light Books). And he is the co-author of Figure Drawing Studio: Drawing and Painting the Nude Figure from Pose Photos (Sterling Publishing), in which he used Natural Pigments’ colors. He has also written over 100 articles for Artist Magazine, the Pastel Journal, and Watercolor Artist.

He has taught university and college courses in Art, Art History and Art Appreciation, as well as workshops across the United States. He is a self-taught artist.

A native of California, Krieger now has his home and studio in the hinterland of Port Angeles, Washington.


ARTIST STATEMENT

My philosophy is the love of discovery. Rather than maintain a personal custom of just one medium or just one palette, I prefer to explore the potential of many alternative mediums and palette “permutations.” I like to research, inquire and experiment, and then show other artists what I have learned. Given that, I have not settled upon a single fixed method or style. But I do try to create innovative art that attracts attention and appeals to anyone who sees it. The usual subjects of my work are portraiture, the human figure and trompe l’oeil still life.


BUTCH KRIEGER ON NATURAL PIGMENTS

I believe that we are in the midst of a Second Renaissance of representational art. Moreover, I consider Natural Pigments to be a vanguard in that spontaneous, grass-roots movement. And I have more than once expressed this opinion to the company’s owner George O’Hanlon. His timing in launching this enterprise could not have been better.

Like the first Renaissance, the thrust of this second reawakening is actually two-fold. Most obviously, it is a revival of traditional art. It is the reaffirmation of the character, methods and benchmark standards of quality that fell into disregard—and even into outright contempt and suppression—during the Modernist era. (It is difficult to specifically define the artform of the Second Renaissance, but I like the term “Classical Realism,” which was coined by someone in the traditional atelier system.) It is wonderful to see the old high standards making a magnificent comeback. And Natural Pigments has emerged as the primary source of materiel for the cause.

The other thrust of the first Renaissance was innovation and discovery. It was during this period, as a case in point, that the medium of oil paints was introduced. Likewise, Natural Pigments has now introduced the new cold-wax medium of Ceracolors. I have been exploring the new world of Ceracolors ever since Natural Pigments introduced this “cutting-edge” medium to the market. At first, I focused my attention strictly on the hues of the Ceracolors line, rather than their base medium itself. In doing that, I discovered that they offer artists a wide range of palette options for painting flesh tones.

Then I turned my attention toward the characteristics of the Ceracolors’ basic wax medium itself, to explore its stylistic prospects. I have found it to be an excellent versatile medium for portraiture. And I have an opinion to express about it.

Unlike Britain and the rest of Europe, American portraiture tends to be steadfastly reserved, and thereby not very cordial to sudden originality. But that can—and probably will—change. Given that, an artist can use this new medium in a safe conservative manner, that is not too dissimilar to oil colors, such as in the simple flesh tone study, which you can see in the study immediately below (left). S/he may simply choose this harmless and more convenient aqueous medium, as an alternative to the more problematic oil mediums and their attendant solvents. Or s/he may prefer the distinctive working properties of liquid wax applications.

Or an artist can be a pioneer with the Ceracolors, and dare to be unique—such as in the study immediately below (right). There have in fact been only a few times in history, within which a newly introduced and unique medium presents artists with the chance to establish categorically new styles. This is truly an opportune moment on the timeline of art.


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