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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides



Royo, Master Spanish Painter of impressionist art

About Royo

Born in 1941 in Valencia, Spain, Royo began demonstrating his artistic talent early. At the age of 9 his father, a prominent physician and avid art enthusiast, employed private tutors to instruct Royo in drawing, painting, and sculpture. When Royo turned 14 he entered the San Carlos Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Valencia. Upon turning 18 Royo continued his artistic studies privately with Aldolfo Ferrer Amblat, Chairman of Art Studies at the San Carlos Academy. He also visited the major museums in Europe at this time to study the famous masters-Velasquez, Goya, Renoir, Monet, and Sorolla among others.

During the mid-60's-early 70's Royo added more dimensions to his skills creating theatre sets and doing graphic illustration and restoration work. He also participated in prestigious competitions gaining major distinctions. In 1968 he began to exhibit in Spain, specifically Lisbon, Madrid and Barcelona. With positive reception of his works in Madrid, Royo received commissions to paint the royal portraits of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia. He received subsequent commissions to paint the Judges of the High Magistrature and the Court of Justice, as well as prominent political and society figures.

At the age of 25 Royo began feeling a growing desire to paint the land of his birth; to convey the light, the color and the intensity of Valencia and the Mediterranean. This meant a new focus and change of style in his work; he needed to perfect new ways to capture the light, the shadow and to work on classical composition styles. Through the 1980's Royo perfected his style of painting the Mediterranean and exhibited abroad, notably in London, Brussels, Copenhagen and Paris. He also participated in the International Geneva Art Fair.

Beginning in 1989 and continuing until today we see the development of Royo's "matured" style. His dramatic use of color and "texturing" capture his subject matter with unique flair. Parallels can be drawn to the work of the European masters; for example, with Royo's "homage to the female form," we see the distinct influence of Renoir. It is the similar, almost portrait-like treatment of the female model, caught in a serene, contemplative moment, with the surrounding "bursts" of color from the floral landscapes where we see the "Renoir" in Royo's work. In fact, critics have concluded, "If the artwork of Renoir were blended with that of the 'Valencian painters' you would arrive at the canvasses approaching the uniqueness of the impressive work of Royo."

Impressive parallels can also be drawn between Royo's work and that of the Spanish master, Joaquin Sorolla. Both were born in Valencia, both were classically trained, both "matured" into styles of painting capturing the dramatic visual essence of their homeland-Valencia and the Mediterranean Sea. They have both been described as "painters of the Light"; some have said, "of the Light of the South," that is, the southern coast of Spain. It is the overwhelming influence of Sorolla blended with his own style that make Royo's masterful treatment of the Mediterranean subjects both haunting and mysterious, yet full of raw power at the same time. The sweeping brush strokes, bold swaths of color, and heavy impasto capture the eye and draws one inward until that final absolute moment of awareness that one is actually there in the scene feeling the light and heat of the sun, the salt and sea spray, and hearing the crashing surf. Royo conveys not merely image, but mood and atmosphere as well. This is rare in today's art world, hence the connoisseur is compelled to compare with the old masters. Thus, the appeal of Royo's work for today's collector becomes obvious. With pride we offer the art work of today's Spanish master painter, Royo, to the art connoisseurs of the world.

Justin Wiest

Justin Wiest

While great paintings may serve as alternative realities to some, the practice of painting or picture making is a blissful addiction to others. My only endeavor in painting is to continue to learn the craft and maintain my state of bliss; however I do admire those who use painting to ask questions about the human condition or those who try to influence modes of thinking. At this point in my career I’m enjoying the freedom to experiment and search for the limits of painting by scrubbing at the film of familiarity.

Justin Wiest

Justin Wiest is a Fairfield County-based artist and educator. He has been teaching for GEP since September 2008 and we’re thrilled to have him working with our students this summer.

Justin received his MFA from the New York Academy of Art’s Graduate School of Figurative Art, and his BFA from The Schuler School of Fine Art. His work has been exhibited in Connecticut, New York, Maryland, and Italy. Justin’s teaching ranges from one-on-one instruction to portfolio classes, and he also teaches advanced, 300/400-level drawing and painting courses at Greenwich Education & Prep, Silvermine Arts Guild, and Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts in Old Lyme, CT. Justin has worked in conjunction with the Aldrich Museum’s Draw On program as well as well as with the NYAA-sponsored GO FIGURE outreach program for New York City high school students.

Susan Kraut

''My recent paintings are drawn from my experience at a residency in Northern Italy, where, even in late fall, the grounds were filled with brightly colored fruits and berries still growing on trees: pomegranates, persimmons, pears, oranges, strange vines and leaves. Placing these objects on the wide, white windowsills of my residence, I looked out onto misty gray mountains and green/blue banks of fog setting in and lifting off the distant hills. Against this outside atmosphere, the objects took on for me a sense of nostalgia and melancholy of the changing season, a reminder of the fragility of living things and the passing of time. Sometimes I felt that the still life objects, the fruits and berries and branches that I had brought inside, were on the windowsill longing to be back outside. Often, the casual and random ways in which they were left on the sill seemed to echo the formations of the hills or clouds behind them. They looked to me like still life pretending to be landscapes.

In my first series of paintings that resulted from that stay in Italy, I seemed to want to capture more accurately, more descriptively, what I experienced there: the landscapes that were directly out my windows, the objects just as they looked when I collected them and placed them on the windowsills.

As I have continued into this second series of works, the paintings seem to be shifting more towards my memory of the experience. I have taken more liberties with the subjects; I have felt less tied to the actual scenes that were in front of me; I am more interested in the way the events become combined in my memory of the experience, such as the way a particular cloud shape evokes the shape of a crinkled leaf. I have begun combining elements of the place that I didn’t actually see together, elements that evoke the mood that I experienced.

I have gradually become more fascinated with painting the fleeting, non-material elements of the place: the light, the atmosphere, the clouds, and the way these contrast with the tactile specificity of the objects – the fruits, leaves and berries with their particular shapes, colors, textures. They represent two opposite qualities of the world we experience – the non-tangible, larger-than-human elements which surround us on the earth, and the mundane, human-scaled objects that nature gives us. This contrast has led me to pay more attention to recording the fragility and impending decay of the once-perfect fruits – the rotten spots that have begun appearing on the pears, the berries beginning to shrivel, the leaves starting to wither. This is, of course, a traditional subject of still life painting, vanitas: a reminder that nothing in life will last.''

Susan Kraut

Born in Washington, D.C.
B.A. The University of Michigan
M.Ed. Rutgers University
Studied at the New School for Social Research, N.Y.C.
B.F.A. School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Studied etching and painting at Morley College, London, England
M.F.A. School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Susan Hall

Susan S. Hall's soft, enigmatically symbolic portraits are particularly unique. The subjects' features are universal and, that they are deeply rooted in her scumbled, fresco-like surfaces, gives them timeless nonspecific space in which to live.



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