Oil on stretched canvas 24" x 20" (knife)

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About CJSprague

I would appreciate real critique of my work ex. use of color, composition, values etc. I would prefer a negative but constructive criticism over fluff.



Over the last 40 years I have taught myself  the basics of painting.  As a result of these years of research and practice I have come to understand colors, values, composition, medium and their techniques, media, work space and environment.


Painting on paper, board and canvas with oils, acrylics and occasionally watercolors I have attempted to produce results that are pleasing to me. I paint for my own enjoyment and have not attempted to sell my work.


Nearly every day of the week I spend between 4 and 6 hours in my studio. I’m not always smearing paint however.  At times I may spend days developing an idea or researching a technique. Once I feel I have something I can work with  I attempt to produce pleasing results from the learning experience. I’m as interested in the process as I am in the product.


My comfort level is essential while I am working.  For that reason I rarely work outside of the studio. By taking digital photographs and making quick sketches I minimize my exposure to the elements. I return with these to my studio where the north facing wall of windows and full spectrum lighting in close proximity to materials and necessities provide me with an environment I find essential to the  long periods of time that I devote to experimentation and creativity.


The studio is large enough and organized to hold my books, shelving, materials,  stereo system, computer, desk and chair, work tables, easels, and glass surfaced home made taboret. I stand on a piece of dense carpeting with my paints to my left and a view of my monitors ahead and to the left.


In the past I held or pined up my photographs and or sketches while painting. Today I use a  large flat screen TV as an additional monitor.  After working up my ideas from these materials I scan them onto the TV screen.  Viewing the subject matter in this way I proceed by free-handing shapes with charcoal or thinned paint onto a surface and then render my envisioned results in oils or acrylics.


To see my paintings progress from different perspectives I have mounted a adjustable mirror on a supply cabinet behind me. I also position a video camera on a low saturation setting for reviewing my values on the computers monitor. The spacious environment allows me to back away from my easel and view the painting from different locations within the studio.


I paint landscapes, flower arraignments, self portraits, basic still life’s, architectural subjects what ever strikes my fancy. Narrowing my focus relative to subject matter and technique is a discipline I have not mastered. Experimenting with expressionism, impressionism and abstraction fills in gaps in my artistic development. For the most part my paintings to date would be described as realism.


Improving on my art is a daily goal with a life long history that I intend to expand upon for years to come.