“Whatever object you are painting, keep in mind its prevailing character, rather than its accidental appearance.” – Benjamin West 1801
I knew we were in for a treat when I purchased tickets to the Everett Raymond Kinstler show at the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, Georgia. Mr. Kinstler is a 90 year old portrait artist from NYC, who is still taking commissions in oil! He is well known for his wit and storytelling. Apparently he was thrilled about his show at the Booth Museum that runs July – October but informed them that there was no way he would be coming to Georgia in July or August weather so they would have to wait until September for the opening Ceremonies! My mother and I made the trek to Cartersville, and we were not disappointed.
Mr. Kinstler has painted such personalities as Katherine Hepburn and John Wayne, as well as numerous presidents. His two hour painting demo was a fascinating montage of stories of his interactions with these characters, while he mesmerized us with his quick and carefree painting style. I loved the way he talked about developing a relationship with the model, and not just being a copyist attempting to flatter the model. He urged us to study the essence of who that person is, and removing everything that doesn’t contribute to the message you want to convey.
I had no idea what a gem the Booth Museum would turn out to be! We barely scratched the surface of the wealth of paintings and history housed in this incredible structure. The landscapes were breathtaking as they revealed the west in a way I had never seen it before. The icy blues of severe barren winters, compared with the baked sienna hues which so strongly spoke of the heat of summer were incredible. I will definitely be going back soon!
A week after visiting the show I received Kinstler’s book “Painting Portraits” in the mail from my mother. What a treasure! I will love pouring over this for years to come remembering our fall day together when we met the master himself!