on a modest scale: he’ll paint a small plein-air landscape on site, outdoors. “I’m a scrubber when I paint,” he says, “so I prefer the rigidity of a hard panel surface.” He uses a gessoed Masonite panel, sometimes Masonite wrapped in Belgian linen. Once back in his studio, he builds harmonious layers of color and pattern using glazes of translucent pigments that give his brushstrokes a more diffuse and softer edge. The resulting unity of tone and a saturated glow make his work unique. Although he calls the small pieces “studies,” he intends for them to be finished paintings in themselves. The intimate scale allows him to develop the composition and his beautiful tonal range. When he scales up to a larger canvas—studio work not practical in the field—the composition is most often based on one or several of the smaller paintings.
right Painting en plein air, in process among birch trees in Beulah, Michigan. far right The artist paints on the shore of the French Broad River in Weaverville, North Carolina. top right The moody “Elegy” is an example of Krueger’s Tonalist approach to the landscape.
above Krueger’s “Elk Mountain Road” hangs this year as part of his solo exhibition at the Grovewood Gallery in Asheville, N.C. left Shawn and his son, Sam, at the piano; the large painting is “A Meander On The Saranac.”