Christopher Lubeck, Painter
Ogden artist Christopher Lubeck paints vibrant scenes derived from his travels throughout the west and around the world. From snow-covered mountains to Caribbean beaches, Lubeck’s subject matter reflects the artist’s personal experiences, as memories resurface and blend with everyday impressions. But for this expressive artist, it’s not necessarily about recreating a particular scene or familiar place on canvas. Lubeck is more concerned with the energy and emotional impact of his paintings, using pure, vibrant color and raw brushwork to connect with the viewer on a visceral level.
Get to know the artist through our Q&A interview below, and visit him at The Monarch in Studio #15. (Artist photo by Rick Egan, Salt Lake Tribune)
You work in an expressive and bold style – why do you choose to paint this way rather than a more traditional realist style? How do you feel that you connect with the viewer through this painting style?
I strive for the viewer/audience to feel a sense of motion and energy in my work. I want them to be involved with it.
Your subject matter is quite eclectic – you paint landscapes that range from tropical to mountain scenes, figures and more. Where does this varied inspiration stem from?
I have had the opportunity to travel far and wide. My work is a culmination of those experiences, rather than a particular place. I prefer to experiment with varying techniques; some techniques work for one subject matter and some for others.
Do you work from photographs, memories, or a combination?
I will sometimes take photos to reference colors or shapes, but I rarely try to copy something. I want to put my own take on it. The best example is that most of my paintings are derived from three or more references, such as – the sunset colors from a photo I took while living on the central coast of California, the yucca from my parents yard in Las Cruces, or the background mountains from driving through Santa Fe.
What is it about a specific scene or landscape that makes you want to paint it? The qualities of that place that make you want to grab a brush and start working?
It’s not so much about the object of the painting as it is about wanting the viewer to feel as if they have been or could be there. The viewer brings their experiences into the work as well. It could be the subject matter or the colors or even the size and shape of the canvas.
Emotional energy and personal connection is important to your work. What techniques do you use to achieve/portray this?
It all comes down to color and shape. I like to use primary colors and a heavy brush or palette knife to achieve depth and texture. I want the act of making to show, like the brush strokes. It’s not a real aspen, but you may feel you can wrap your arms around it.
What do you like most about your Monarch studio and the creative community there?
I believe The Monarch is going to be a vibrant gathering space. It is nice to have a creative community in one location. We feed off each other creatively, emotionally, and for business.
Any other comments/insights about your work or process that you want to share?
I think the main focus for an artist is to tell a story. The great part is that each person who views a particular piece creates his/her own narrative. A picture is not worth a thousand words – it’s a thousand different stories.