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.
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.