Portrait of Mr. Brandtner, By John H Stermer (detail) Oil painting, 1972

“Mr. Brandtner”, A John Stermer Portrait From The Early 1970s


I would like to share with you a portrait John Stermer painted in the early 1970s.  I remember my father painting this portrait of Mr. Louis Brandtner when I was a teenager.  What struck me was all the brown colors in the painting.  

"Mr. Brandtner", A Portrait By New Mexico artist John Stermer, oil, 1972.

Also, this was the first time that I remembered Dad painting a commission in his home studio.  Just to be clear, John Stermer was not new to portraiture.  I was just young at the time and was not aware of many previous works.  He had done portraits of family members, so I knew he could draw and paint a portrait.  

More to the point, it was a memorable event having Mr. Brandtner come to the studio to sit for his portrait.  It was fascinating.  Plus, I enjoyed looking at new paintings.

When I was scrolling through the John Stermer inventory photos, Mr. Brandtner’s portrait caught my eye.  As a teenager, I wasn’t aware of composition.  So, the interesting grid-like background did not attract my attention.  I like how the grid echos the feeling of dignity and strength about Mr. Brandtner.  Also, I wasn’t aware of the soft passages of paint in the background contrasting with the more defined edges of the portrait and figure.  And, there is a lot of color and what I saw as a brown painting!

I hope you enjoy Mr. Brandtner’s portrait as much as I do.  Seeing it after all these years, it’s like looking at a lifelong friend. 

Update.  Mr. Brandtner and his wife Mercedes N. Brandtner lived in Bayard, NM for 50 years.  For 40 of those years, they ran a general merchandise store and later a liquor store in Bayard.  In the early 1980s, they moved to Albuquerque NM where Mrs. Brandtner lived to 100 years of age.  Source: http://obits.abqjournal.com/obits/show/93188.




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