Biddington's Home & Search

LAURA SHECHTER--Paintings for Sale.   BIDDINGTON'S ART GALLERY--More Paintings and Sculpture.

Creative Process at Biddington's

Laura Shechter painting Composition in Blue & White

Laura Shechter
Contemporary Realist Painter

CREATIVE PROCESS visits the Brooklyn studio of still life painter Laura Shechter.Laura SHECHTER: I consider myself a second generation contemporary realist--the first generation includes painters such as Philip Pearlstein and Alex Katz. There is even a third generation around now.

I studied at Brooklyn College in the 60's with Ad Reinhardt; I suppose I absorbed some of his minimalist tendencies:

a horizontal line=a landscape
a horizontal and a vertical=a figure in a landscape
a horizontal and two verticals=a crowd in a landscape

Laura Shechter
Composition in Blue & White
Oil on Canvas, 2002

Detail of Laura Shechter painting Still Life with White Heron

Detail of Still Life with White Heron
Oil on Canvas, 1990

Laura SHECHTER: In terms of my work process, I was influenced by commercial art. My husband now paints, but he used to be a commercial artist. I borrowed some of his techniques. My process in doing the big still lifes is to first draw the grouping in pencil on a relatively small scale.

Laura Shechter Drawing with Grid Marks

Laura SHECHTER: Next, I create a grid on the drawing and have a photocopying place enlarge each portion of the grid. Then, I transfer the enlarged drawing to the surface of the canvas. This preparatory work is painstaking. I'll often have more than 40 hours in a painting before I even begin to paint.

Preliminary Drawing with Grid Marks

Laura Shechter Easel Set up

Laura SHECHTER: Once the outlines of the images are transferred to the canvas, I start painting. I control my light source--that's why it's dark in here. I want a very specific light--I'm really trying to capture a Moment of Light. My goal is to convey the precise visual sensation of the surfaces of the objects at one instant of light.

Shechter's Studio Set-Up

Laura SHECHTER: I paint both directly and indirectly--depending on the surface I am describing. For instance, look at this wooden table. I can't just get out brown paint and put in on the canvas and convey the surface of the wood. What you sense on this table is wood viewed through layers of stain and varnish. So, I paint it "indirectly" layering the paint. You can't convey the visual experience of a wall as seen through a colored glass object using just direct painting--it has to be translucent and transparent. So I paint both ways.

Laura Shechter detail from 44 objects

Detail from 44 objects
Shelve Series, 2001

Laura Shechter Bookshelves with Still Life Objects

Laura SHECHTER: I started painting still lifes with 19th century objects, but I've gravitated toward later ones. I like a lot of thirties objects very much--the design of that period is so strong.

Objects for Still Life Compositions Arranged by Color in Laura Shechter's Studio (right)

Laura Shechter detail of Still Life with Toucan

Laura SHECHTER: The things in my paintings elicit surprising responses in people. People respond both to the painting and to their attachment and memories of some of the objects I've painted. One museum curator burst into tears when she saw some images from her childhood in my paintings. I try to give the same meticulous care in depicting the objects that the people who made them gave to them. I honor their craft.

Detail from Still Life with Toucan
Oil on Canvas, 1993

Laura Shechter lithograph Porcelain & Glass

Laura SHECHTER: I work usually 14 hours a day--7 days a week. A day-off for me is 5 hours at the easel. My painting is a very quiet activity--not like some of the painters of big abstracts where the painting process itself is very physical.

Porcelain & Glass
5-Color Lithograph

Laura SHECHTER: The cheval mirror is here is my working space so I can glance at it and see a movie I am playing reflected in the mirror. I sit for so long, I find the movies ease the tedium. Some of my most precise work is accomplished in a state of almost boredom--it's sort of automatic seeing and recording.

Detail of Laura Shechter Still Life with BasketLaura Shechter holding fake pepper

Laura SHECHTER: I really like to look at the surfaces of objects--I particularly like the artificial fruits and vegetables they make now and those really good silk flowers. Look at this fake pepper--to me this is technology.

Detail of Still Life with Basket
Oil on Canvas, 2001

Laura SHECHTER: Making beautiful drawings requires different skills from making good paintings. Many talented painters lack the light touch and sensitivity to produce a sensuous surface on paper.

Laura Shechter graphite drawing

Still Life with Bronze Cup
Graphite on Paper, 2001

detail of shechter still life with porcelain heart

Laura SHECHTER: Over the past few years, I've created--and produce work from time to time--in a genre that I call a "semi-interior". I define it, quite precisely, as an interior space less than 6 feet deep. In this space, everything in the painting wants to flip forward toward the viewer. Unless you try really hard to anchor the space--by way of perspective reference points or shadows--the space falls toward you. This is different from a still life space--which is simply a shelf--a plane parallell to the floor--with a back wall parallel to the picture plane. I feel blessed that I keep getting new ideas that intrigue me.

Detail of Still Life with Porcelain Heart (right)
Oil on Canvas, 2002

Laura Shechter in her studio

Laura Shechter

View Laura Shechter Paintings, Drawings,
Watercolors & Lithographs

for Sale at BIDDINGTON'S.
Price Range: $160-$7500

Laura Shechter Lecture to the National Arts Club:
Silverpoint and Meticulous Drawing Techniques
Old Masters and Contemporary Artists

Laura Shechter Public Collections (abbreviated list):
Albright Knox Gallery Buffalo
Art Institute of Chicago
Boston Museum of Fine Arts
Brooklyn Museum
National Museum of American Art
National Academy of Design
National Museum of Women in the Arts
Carnegie Institute
Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Jewish Museum, NYC
New York Public Library
Tel Aviv Museum
Brooklyn College
Rutgers University Zimmerli Museum
3M Corporation
Bryn Mawr College

Shechter's Solo Exhibitions (abbreviated list):
Green Mountain Gallery, NYC 1971
Forum Gallery, NYC 1976, 1980, 1983
Pucker Gallery, Boston, 1981, 1996, 1998
Staemphli Gallery, NYC 1985
University of Richmond, Richmond, Virginia 1991
Perlow Gallery, NYC 1992, 1994

Shechter's Teaching Positions:
Parsons School of Design, NYC 1984
National Academy of Design 1985-1988, 1994-1998


CREATIVE PROCESS at Biddington's is designed as a forum for watching art in the making. Usually, this process happens in the privacy of the artist's studio. At BIDDINGTON'S Contemporary Art Gallery & upmarket, online art & antiques auction--we find it interesting to witness the steps leading to the end product and to hear the artists speak about their work in the relaxed surroundings of their own studios.

Email Biddington's with your comments.

Sigmund Abeles Expressive Realist Painter
Nancy Azara Sculptor
Tova Beck-Friedman Sculptor & Mixed-Media Artist
Todd Bellanca Abstract Painter
Carol Bruns Bronze Figurative Sculptor
James Burnett Non-Objective Painter
Cynthia Capriata Peruvian Painter & Printmaker
Catalina Chervin Argentine Surrealist Artist
Diane Churchill Expressionist Painter
John Clem Clarke Pop Artist
Lisa Dinhofer Illusionist Painter
Michael Eastman Faux-Primitive Painter
Lynne Frehm New York Abstract Painter
Betsey Garand Minimalist Painter & Fine Art Printmaker
Mary Teresa Giancoli Personal Documentary Photographer
Debora Gilbert-Ryan New Image Painter
Janet Goldner African-Influenced Steel Sculpture
Harry Gordon Monumental Sculpture
Marilyn Greenberg Narrative Abstract Painter
Patricia Hansen Portrait and Still Life Painter
Richard Heinrich Welded Steel Sculpture
Charles Hewitt Painter & Monotype Printmaker
Diane Holland Intermedia Collage Artist
GH Hovagimyan Pop/Conceptual Artist
LA Hughes Pop Artist
Frances Jetter Bronze Sculptor & Editorial Illustrator
Scott Kahn Fantasy Painter
Susan Kaprov Digital Printmaker and Abstract Painter
Babette Katz Narrative Printmaker and Book Artist
Richard Mock Abstract Painter & Linocut Printmaker
Maureen Mullarkey Figure Paintings
Bill Murphy Contemporary Realist Painter
Jim Napierala Abstract Painter
Frances Pellegrini New York City & Fashion Photographer
Joseph Reeder Cross Media Artist Paintings & Ceramics
Laura Shechter Contemporary Realist Painter
Annemarie Slipper Figurative Ceramic Sculpture
Gary Slipper Fantasy Painter
Margaret Speer Landscape & Travel Paintings
Serena Tallarigo Marble Sculptor
Rein Triefeldt Kinetic Sculpture
Vivian Tsao Painter of Light
Nancy Van Deren Contemporary Painter
Joan Berg Victor Drawings from Nature
Edward Walsh Figurative Sculpture in Steel, Marble & Bronze
Kate Wattson Contemporary Colorist Painter
Betty Winkler Organic Minimalist Painter & Printmaker

PEDIGREE & PROVENANCE--art words & terms defined.    JAKE BIDDINGTON'S INVESTING--financial advice for art collectors.
BIDDINGTON'S BENTLEY--travel for the art & antiques connoisseur.   MY ART--Art for kids.
BIDDINGTON'S--Home & Search

Biddington's Home & Search