ARTisSpectrum Vol. 31, May 2014 - page 45

ARTisSpectrum | Volume 31 |
avid Rosenthal
’s breathtaking winter landscapes
almost defy belief with their minutely observed
details. Rosenthal captures glaciers, icebergs, and
snowy woods with a deft hand, focusing with special
concentration on the soft, eerie glow produced by light
filtering through ice. His paintings find beauty in the
middle distance, often centering on one floe or ridge
and allowing it to move forward and stretch back to fill
the frame. Rosenthal’s angles create dynamic lines even
within static scenes that communicate the grandeur
of each physical feature. Every color and surface, from
snowdrift to storm cloud, is magnificently rendered
without feeling mechanical. Most compellingly, the
images show absolutely no sign of human presence.
With the land completely free of inhabitants, light
itself becomes the active character.
Rosenthal begins his process with plein air sketching
in some of the world’s most frigid places. He then
graduates to small watercolor or oil studies, and selects
a final composition to paint as a full-size oil on linen
work. All the while he uses only his own field drawings
for reference – never photographs. This painstaking
process ensures that the painting is as generous as
the human eye in its observation with regards to light
and color, while still containing that extraordinary
level of textural information that a camera provides.
As Rosenthal explains it, “the creation of an image in
our minds is a very active process… My work, when
successful, is more real than a photo.”
Born in Lewiston, Maine, Rosenthal currently lives in
Cordova, Alaska. A mostly self-taught artist, he finds
inspiration in his travels to remote corners of the earth
such as Greenland, the Arctic, Antarctica, and the far
reaches of his own state.
David Rosenthal
David in his Studio
Sun and Clouds Over Gulf of Alaska Oil on Linen 28” x 30”
Moonlit Glacier Oil on Linen 28” x 30”
the creation of an image
in our minds is a very
active process… My
work, when successful, is
more real than a photo.
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