Local Color

a conversation with 
Larry Churski
Medina artist Larry Churski is one of the midwest's most respected plein air painters.  His understanding of light, color and composition also make him a 
highly sought-after instructor. 

Larry's work has appeared in juried exhibitions including Art for the Parks, Grand Exhibition, Ohio Plein Air Society, Massillon Museum (Solo Show), Plein Air Easton, and the Ohio Watercolor Society Annual Exhibition.  Numerous Awards include Best of Show and Award of Excellence.
See more of Larry's work on his WEBSITE.

Next to the Lawrence Churski Gallery, scores of awards line walls of Artists Incorporated, the successful advertising design business where Larry was President for several years.   
His passion for art is apparent in every nook and cranny in his studio and gallery; his enthusiasm is infectious.  
Larry is clearly enjoying his current role as 
plein air painter and mentor.   

To give readers a glimpse into the artist's mind, influences and painting process, we list his responses to ten questions.
PAPWR: Tell us about yourself... where are you from, where did you receive your training and how did you get started in art?
LC: I'm from Toledo.  My study of drawing and painting began after receiving a full scholarship to the Cooper School of Art, and my education continued at the Cleveland Institute of Art.  I worked as an illustrator and designer for 46 years and became President of Artists Incorporated and the Lawrence Churski Gallery.  I've painted en plein air since 1986 and have won numerous awards over the years.  The Sargent-Lassig museum recently purchased two of my paintings for their permanent collection and I've been added to their faculty.

PAPWR:  What inspires you and how do you keep yourself motivated?
LC: Just watching what happens to color as a painting progresses is exciting to me.  I can hardly wait to see the finished piece.

PAPWR: Describe your favorite subject.
LC: Anything with water in it.  Architecture next, then portraits.
PAPWR:  How would you describe your style?
LC: Contemporary Impressionism.

PAPWR: What are the different mediums you work in, and which is your favorite and why?
LC: Watercolor and oil.  At the moment, oil, because of the third dimension, ease of correction and the jewel-like effect of the finished piece.  I feel watercolor is the most difficult of all the mediums, especially in plein air.
PAPWR: Any influences or anyone you look up to when it comes to painting?
LC: Lowell Ellsworth Smith, Richard Schmid, and John Singer Sargent.

PAPWR: Describe yourself in five words.
LC: I'm Disciplined, Enthusiastic, Optimistic, Focused, and Confident.

PAPWR: What is the best advice you ever received about art?
LC: To paint for the love of painting, not for the money.

PAPWR: Professionally, what is your goal?
LC: To make every painting better than the last and to share that knowledge.
PAPWR: Any words of advice for aspiring artists?
LC: Observe, squint at the subject, not at your painting.
Focus on the entire painting, not just the details.
Work with a limited palette.
Take a workshop from an artist whose work you like.
Do not say "I can't"... I can't paint figures, I can't paint trees, I can't paint water, I can't paint rocks... Make your weakness your strength!

For more information, including art acquisition inquiries and information on available paintings, 
please email Larry or visit his WEBSITE
Larry is the owner of "The Mill at Yellow Creek", a restored grist mill originally built in 1830, and home to the Lawrence Churski Gallery and Studio.