Tracks On River Ice
22 x 40 in.
Oil on linen
Available Through Grenning Gallery, Sag Harbor, NY

January seemed colder than usual this year. As a result I was likely to spend more time in the studio often to finish plein air sessions cut short by my surprising poor cold tolerance (being a native Minnesotan).
Tracks on River Ice is one such example of a combined plein air and studio painting. After scouting for a plein air scene for several hours I spotted this image on my way back to the studio. I elected to rough in the image from a photograph back in the studio and then because of the subtle tones and the usual camera misinformation, I took the canvas back on location the next day to finish it plein air.
I was initially struck by the quietness and tonal quality of the scene. I tried to maintain that and found it very helpful to see the colors first hand. Final touches were added back in the studio including the calligraphy of the snow tracks.

Carl Bretzke’s work has been described in the Washington Post as “simultaneously intimate and detached…the artist’s unadorned style recalls Edward Hopper and The Ashcan School.” His work features landscape and cityscape scenes often with a subtle narrative and frequently tensioning natural beauty with the mundanely familiar.

Carl holds an MD degree from the University of Minnesota. His undergraduate degree is from the University of Colorado where he also received a minor in Fine Art. Carl has also studied with several contemporary plein air artists most extensively with Joe Paquet.

Carl’s current work includes both plein air and studio painting. He continues to experience success in  plein air events throughout the country and was the Plein Air Salon Grand Prize winner in 2016. Read Carl’s full biography on his website. Carl is represented by Grenning Gallery in Sag Harbor, NY, and Susan Calloway Fine Art in Washington, D.C.

Upcoming 2019 shows and events
May 4 Open Studio Show in Minneapolis, MN
May 18 Solo Show at Grenning Gallery in Sag Harbor, NY
May 20-26 Eureka Springs Plein Air Invitational in Eureka Springs, AR
July 21-27 Door County Plein Air Invitational in Door County, WI
Sept 6-13 Plein Air Grand Marais in Grand Marais, MN (Carl will also be offering a one day mini workshop during the event)
Oct 5-13 Laguna Plein Air Invitational in Laguna Beach, CA

View more of Carl’s work and check out his upcoming events on his website, and follow him on Facebook and Instagram.