Charles Muench

Charles Muench, paintings of the Sierra Nevadas and southwest
Nevada painter Charles Muench primarily paints landscape and figures, sometimes combining the two in paintings of figures or portraits in the landscape. Some of these take on the subject of nude figures wading in the shallow water of streams, in obvious admiration for the work of Swedish master Anders Zorn.

Muench also shows his respect for great turn of the 20th century painters of California and the American West — like Maynard Dixon and Edgar Payne — with whom he shares a love of portraying the rugged and colorful mountains and rock formations of those territories.

In all of Muench’s work, however, is his evident fascination with light, both in the rich colors his often brightly lit scenes provide, and particularly in values, the layers of contrasts of light and dark that play through his compositions.

You will sometimes find dark foreground giving way to light middle grounds, only to find the effects of dark and light repeated again in the distance, muted with atmospheric effect.

Muench also plays the the immediate characteristics of light on his foreground subjects, whether figures or the stones on which they sit, glistening in the waters of a softly cascading stream.

In larger reproductions, his work is painterly, with an almost casual surface effect, but carefully laid on a solid framework of traditional draftsmanship.

On his website, you will find galleries of his work in different subject ranges, along with a section of photographs titled “In the Field“, many of which show him working on location. I always enjoy seeing plein air painters working on their pieces in the context of the location, which, in Muench’s case, is often quite dramatic.

Muench teaches workshops and classes, which he lists on his site.

[Via Art and Influence]


3 Replies to “Charles Muench”

  1. Really great and you said it all Charley. His compositions and how much light and shadow really make them, play a big role. Lush landscapes loaded with substance.
    I always enjoy it when I see artwork where the artist just gets it all right, everything. Add to that the extra pleasure of recognizing locations that are close to home for me. Here, the bridge in Pasadena where I went to school and the cliff seascape where I grew up and have stood many times.

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