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Photo license: © All rights reserved
From the Artists Series. This portrait is in my book, Insights: The Portraiture of Charles R. Rushton, http://www.crushton.com.
At first glance, Spragues paintings appear realistic, almost photographic. However they have a surreal feeling about them that derives from a variety of factors. His use of light suggests a sort of dream-like quiet. While most objects in the paintings appear motionless to the point of existing almost outside of time, Sprague will include a curtain that seem to be blown by a breeze, or a fold in a table cloth or a diagonal sweep of clouds in a sky that suggest movement. Many painting employ anomalies in perspectives that suggest the viewer is viewing different areas of the picture space simultaneously from different vantage points. Spragueâ€™s painting technique also contributes to the surreal effect. He applies several thinly painted layers over the course of many sittings, and so creates a smooth appearance that hides brush strokes and enhances the linear qualities of the composition. On the whole, Spragueâ€™s compositions are simple and elegant in their underlying and often openly expressed geometric structure.
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