Last Saturday morning Joe Altwer was kind enough to do a very thorough demonstration for a group in my studio. Though Joe is well known in the Florence Academy/Academic painting circle, he rarely comes back to America these days. I was happy to introduce him to our New England painting community.
I asked Joe if he would do an interior of the studio for everyone- he paints great interiors with a palpable sense of quiet. In my opinion, the interior is a painting genre many people find interesting, but balk at the prospects of. The amount of perspective in them and shifts in light I think people find intimidating… Joe does a great job of reducing interior views to their most basic elements.
Below, a couple of Altwer’s past interior paintings:
daniela astone studio florence, 2015 (?) 60×80 cm ~ 24×30
‘where i work’, sweden 2014(?) 80x60cm ~30×24″
Joe did not rush through his demo in a slapdash manner- he painted slowly and methodically, taking time to explain each of the steps he was walking through. We were fortunate to have 6 or 8 good examples of Joe’s work in the studio, so that the group could reference what he was doing in these early steps of a painting, and compare to his more finished work on the easels behind them.
joe working on his lay-in
joe was very generous with his time, and spent time after the demo discussing his work with students
Here’s a nice short recap of the demo on instagram by 2016-2017 student @hungryforcolors :
Demonstration ‘Painting the interior’ by @JoeAltwer really impressed me: speaking when you’re painting, slow done and explain your actions to others and answering all questions that are coming up is just a lot! So clear how he shared his way of working in just less than 3 intensive hours. Explained how he engineered his easle and paintbox. Told about his paints, brushes and composition. Showed all drawing to painting steps and mixed colors to shift values. Joe and studio @leo_mancini_hresko encourage greater knowledge and understanding. If I’ll ever reach that level I hope I can do the same.
Joe’s completed demo painting, ~27×23″
I will be inviting Joe back to teach again sometime in the next year. A painting group in Fairfield County, Connecticut has asked if I would organize a class with Altwer for them, and I will have him do something through my studio in Boston as well. I look forward to it.