Art Stauder demonstrates his “Mont Saint Michel, France,” one of his paintings on show in the course of a retrospective show of his operate held in October 2021 at The Galleries at Heartland Art Club in Kirkwood. | photograph by Julie Brown Patton

Retired architect Artwork Stauder seemed destined to turn into involved with artwork, presented his title. Nonetheless, this 91-year-previous plein air artist from Kirkwood got into resourceful painting by incident.

“I sense like the oldest residing plein air artist on the planet,” Stauder advised far more than 30 attendees at an occasion titled “91 Many years of Artwork: A Retrospective Exhibit of Art Stauder’s Art.”

The “conversation evening” with this nearby creator of visible representations was hosted on Oct. 22 by volunteer associates at The Galleries at Heartland Art Club, 101-A W. Argonne in Kirkwood. Stauder’s show was shown via Nov. 20.

Several years ago, Stauder mentioned he attended an “Arts For The Soul” retreat in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. He signed up for a watercolor team, but was set into an oils group by error and “objected strenuously.”

The French phrase “plein air” usually means “outdoors” and refers to the practice of painting entire images outside the house —something for which Stauder hadn’t geared up.

“Turns out, I experienced a great time and my 1st portray turned out very effectively thanks to beginners’ luck and a handful of strategic brushstrokes from the teacher. That portray hooked me, so I stored making an attempt it and realized I liked it,” Stauder reported, pointing to his very first plein air portray, a environmentally friendly-centered piece named “Walton Pond.”


“Walton Pond,” Art Stauder’s really initial painting and a single of numerous landscape paintings on show for the duration of a latest show of  Stauder’s is effective.  | image by Julie Brown Patton

Right after a 30-yr architectural occupation, Stauder mentioned the total factors of adopting plein air portray later on in life are just like when you’re 21, 41 or 61 yrs previous — “just a joy and a amazing expertise.”

“You get to paint with buddies of like minds whilst throwing brushes full of paint on to a canvas and see if you can make something recognizable,” he extra. 

Nevertheless, he claimed there are actual physical and mental discrepancies in visual artwork the older a person will get.

“The wheels get started coming off a very little bit. It is tougher to get up early adequate in the morning to get the good gentle. With weather conditions fluctuations, it is tougher to remain out from time to time. But, regardless, it’s even now a wonderful practical experience,” said Stauder.

Art Before The Art

Right after surviving three styles of most cancers, Stauder stated he discovered to take his time with plein air topics, normally roaming all-around at a scene for 10 minutes to an hour, searching for the correct place that will notify a story. 

“I don’t paint just pure landscapes,” he additional.

Stauder is recognised for his signature pre-sketches in charcoal ahead of producing the to start with brush stroke of any painting. These sketches exude character on their own as separate, unforgettable artworks.

“I get compliments on individuals sketches, not as lots of on the paintings,” he joked. “I also never get to complete portray on-site mainly because I acquire too a lot time browsing for the right location, but I just can’t do the paintings with no the sketches.”

The blurbs that he wrote to go with the sketches became his knitted-alongside one another journal. 

“They’re like an essay for each portray, recording how I felt each and every day, what story I was trying to explain to. For me, they are a purely natural extension of the pictures, adding to the appreciation of portray. I now get pleasure from rereading them,” he stated.

Potentially this course of action is his architectural coaching kicking in, or maybe it’s the 12,000 volunteer several hours at Habitat For Humanity St. Louis around 15 several years of planning appealing, inexpensive and sustainable households for deserving households.

Stauder started volunteering with Habitat St. Louis as a development committee member ahead of having on the position of volunteer team architect in 2000. Just about every hand-drawn blue print and every residence approach for the earlier ten years and a half have been a product of his unwavering commitment to transforming neighborhood communities.


The Custard Station in Kirkwood. | photo by Julie Brown Patton

Start Into Plein Air

During Stauder’s presentation, he pointed out 4 big principles of plein air portray: excellent composition, good values, colour and edges.

From his very own examination, he claimed his paintings can be placed into 5 groups such as something architectural, topics of historic fascination, spots that provide out recollections or tell tales, areas that replicate gorgeous landscapes and beautiful objects in mother nature.

Around the past 16 many years, Stauder reported he’s developed 450 plein air paintings. 

“That’s 28 for each year, or about a single painting just about every two weeks,” he reported.

Stauder admitted that how to combine paint colours properly and radically is his weakest backlink. 

“I desire I realized a lot more about the science of color, like portray dark and mysterious,” he reported.

Stauder’s idea for any person who needs to begin plein air portray, or to get better at it, is to start with self confidence. 

“Read about portray, subscribe to journals about it, drop in like with it,” he stated.

By Indana