No one composes a work like Brad Teare. Although his striking use of color and strong brushwork, of themselves, are enough to pull in even the most casual onlooker, it is Teare’s way of piecing together a painting that makes his work unique.
Teare began his career as a noted woodcut artist in New York, regularly creating works for the New York Times. Traditional woodblock artists work in wood, carving out strong shapes that can be inked in a limited number of colors. The results are often stark and linear. Even as he changed to oil painting, a much more malleable medium, Teare begins with the structure of a woodblock. To show this clearly, Teare created a series of short videos detailing his process.
In the first video, we see Teare working on a large canvas, which he covers in black. Over the black surface, he draws the composition for his work — based on plein air studies — in white acrylic marker. The resulting black-and-white drawing looks like a large woodblock print.
In the second step, Brad paints a strong red over his work; an imprimatura, a ground layer of color, that, in the finished work, will be visible throughout the work in ways that create a sense of uniformity.
Finally, Brad applies the oil paint in large portions. Brad’s way of mixing paint is unusual. He drags the colors on his palette together in ways that allow them to mix and marble.
The resulting dried surface is remarkably sculptural; a thick impastoed surface where the colors maintain their integrity, yet work in harmony.