Spencer's recent paintings are rooted in the energy and experimentation found in abstract expressionism. As an artist, he frequently merges classic painting and printmaking techniques to produce dynamic and beautiful paintings of extraordinary depth, subtlety, richness of color and striking luminosity.
Donald Spencer attended the Cleveland Institute of Art and Cooper School of Art in Cleveland, Ohio before earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Ohio Wesleyan University and entering New York University for graduate study in art education. He received a fellowship to paint in NYC under the sponsorship of the Whitney Museum of American Art and later worked under the private tutelage of Donn Steward, a master print-maker at Universal Limited Art Editions.
Spencer is something of a “painter's painter” or artist's artist, in that artists, art educators and aficionados, will explore his paintings inches from the surface as well as from across a room. They will then speculate on how to achieve such intriguing qualities using traditional paint and canvas materials. Spencer explains that there are few tricks or new materials. For example, exotic sounding materials like “marble dust”, which he will occasionally use, is actually a centuries old ingredient found in canvas primers like jesso. In Spencer's work, spontaneity and free expression occupy an important place, but fine art often also requires an insane amount of tedious disciplined work, patience, attention to detail, persistence and a readiness to repeatedly risk it all to achieve something that is better than just a good result. Perhaps the hardest part of painting is deciding when a painting is finished – when to say when!?
Spencer's paintings were the recent subject of a Parson's New School for Design article by color theory lecturer and author Marcie Cooperman.http://marcie.wpengine.com/colors-create-fire-burn-up-paintings/ His 2013 painting “Labyrinth”, was awarded the highest recognition by an international panel of judges representing International Contemporary Art and Sculpture (ICAS).
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