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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. Sprague’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, Sprague’s compositions are simple and elegant in their underlying and often openly expressed geometric structure.
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