The inventive painting technique of May Artist of the Month Walt Edler, 88, pushes the limits of how one may use traditional materials, and stretches the minds of those viewing his creations.
Edler has enjoyed a lifelong artistic career, and he continues to exercise this passion during his retirement. His involvement with Arts Council Menifee for the last three years has allowed him to develop his unique painting techniques and share his work with the public.
His 30-year professional career included work in graphic art; he held the positions of designer and art director. He has also had the privilege of working with the L.A. Times editorial page, where he provided many stylized caricatures.
Edler is an extremely well-rounded artist and enjoys tackling new creative challenges. Whether painting landscapes, seascapes, or portraits, Edler’s artwork has a timeless and graphic quality to it. He is equally skilled in working with oils or acrylics, and has a thorough mastery of drawing.
"Color, composition, drawing, perspective, contrast and attention to details are all equally important to me and have become the hallmarks of my pieces, whether working in a traditional or semi abstract style," said Edler.
Two new creative journeys of Edler’s in recent years are his very detail-oriented three-dimensional and stylized semi-abstract paintings.
"I think it is the artist’s right to reposition elements or change colors in a painting in order to reflect the reference material. This is a challenge to the artists’ creativity, and the result can be very satisfying; I know this because I do this with every painting I do," he said.
Edler has become largely known in the public and revered by fellow artists for his paintings done in three-dimensional relief. This technique creates a raised version of the two-dimensional subject of the painting.
In order to create this affect, he uses traditional materials like acrylic paint and Prismacolor pencils to add the vibrant color details, plus clay-like material and a pallet knife to form the several layers of the object to achieve the raised 3-D look.
"I prefer painting on hard panel rather than canvas," said Edler. "I quite frequently use Prismacolor pencils and block artist pens for accents and effects. These work very well with acrylic paint on hard panel."
His dimensional technique creates a unique visual experience, in which the seascape or landscape that is being observed becomes more realistic. These stylized works come to life even more so when the picture light above the artwork is turned on in order to illuminate the piece and expose the details of the forms that Edler has created.
"I believe that a painting should stimulate the viewer and provide a pleasant experience of discovering that every facet of the painting has a graphic personality of its own," said Edler.
Edler’s three-dimensional relief pieces, stylized abstracts and many more of his stand out pieces will also be on display at the U.S. Bank in Sun City from June 10 to July 8.
For more information on this Artist of the Month and others, please visit www.artscouncilmenifee.org.