EASTON — You could hear a pin drop in the Avalon Theatre as collectors and artists sat quietly in the cabaret seating and balcony area, awaiting the painting demonstration by Jove Wang of Pasadena, Calif., during the 15th Plein Air Easton competition and arts festival in July.
After introductions, Wang sat in front of the easel, studied his model for a few moments and began to sketch his canvas with thin umber and sweeping gestures. Like a symphony conductor, Wang held the brush loosely, drawing indications of mass, line and point, scrubbing in large blocks of shadow and using delicate calligraphic strokes to outline details for his creation.
Next, he entered the painting phase with dramatic yet precise strokes filling the canvas with “local color” that brought forth the image. His model, local waterman John Kinnamon, sat stoically as Wang carved out his image. Like a sculptor, the details emerged as the artist developed the facial features, neck and chest, and built volume and depth, bringing the painting to life.
Focusing on four stages, he first drew the layout sketch, then the detail structure of the face and body, the background and, finally, the finer details. Always checking his work, he built the painting from the inside out, describing the importance of structure, the understanding of anatomy, form and volume.
He held the brush freely, hovering it above the painting and pinpointing a stroke, laying down thick color to create depth and beauty.
The audience gasped with delight as Wang picked up a large glob of cadmium yellow and with a sweep of the pallet knife, laid down the yellow slicker coat worn by the model.
As he said at a private viewing of the finished piece, “This is a masterpiece created from above.”
Wang’s work is available at Studio B Gallery in Easton.