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Jan Schmuckal


The changing light of day and the moods it evokes are the foundation of all my oil paintings. Each piece usually starts with a powerful, simple composition, which then evolves into a theme where strong light and shadow and deep color are within the primary subject. Strength, mood and simplicity are my primary intentions, moreso than depicting a particular place or time. 

My painting style is derived from the Tonalist Movement, which was started in the US and practiced by American artists while the 
Impressionists were painting in France, in the decades surrounding 1900.  

Many of my paintings are done Alla Prima, also known as direct 
painting, which means; A style of painting where, instead of building colors up with layers, the painting is done in one session on a toned canvas while the paint is still wet. From the Italian word which 
literally means at once. I feel that this style of painting helps my 
intention to be succinct within each painting. As a note of interest, no black is used in any of my paintings.

“The Tonalist catches the laughter of shimmering light, and transmutes it into pictorial joy; he speaks admirably the old mother-tongue of cloud, tree, pool, and stone; he interprets the spring; he is summer’s scribe, page to the majesty of autumn, and priest to the whole round year. With a simple palette, and as if by magic, he expresses breadth, teasing transparency, mysterious distances, the illusion of luminosity—in a word, the drama of air, light, and colour.”
~ Henry Ward Ranger, 1914

For more information, please visit Jan at any of these websites:



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