Stock Schlueter was part of the last show at HSU’s First Street Gallery in Eureka – he did a collection of views of Humboldt Bay as part of a group exhibition of works focused on the bay. But starting next week and running until just before Christmas, he has more walls to fill, as he mounts a solo show. He is definitely “here,” a Humboldt painter though and through. I can’t wait to see the rest of this selection work.
The gallery sent over a few pieces as a preview and a press notice along with them:
Humboldt State University First Street Gallery presents, Being Here, a solo exhibition of landscape paintings by Stock Schlueter. Being Here opens Tuesday, November 25 and runs through Tuesday, December 23. Stock Schlueter has been painting the landscape, primarily focusing on Northern California as his subject, for over 45 years. In his studio in downtown Eureka and on location, Schlueter works only under natural light. With a deep understanding of color and light, while employing a contemporary edge in his composition, Schlueter expertly portrays Northern California’s natural beauty.
The connection between artist Stock Schlueter and his subject matter has had a profound impact on his success. As a youth, raised in remote Willow Creek, California, surrounded by vast forests, mountains and rivers, Schlueter spent his free time exploring uncharted territory. His initial appreciation for the natural world paved the way to his future success as an artist. Schlueter states, “I crawled around in the mountains all my life. The landscape is a big part of my own upbringing and of my soul. I spent so much time in it. I don’t have to imagine what a madrone tree looks like. I know exactly what it looks like.”
Schlueter’s early years in Northern California led him to College of the Redwoods in Eureka, California where he was an athlete, focusing primarily in football, wrestling and track. He earned a full-ride athletic scholarship to the University of Northern Colorado. Majoring in art, he took every art class available, but describes his greatest training as “just being a painter”. Upon graduation from the University of Northern Colorado, he moved back to California’s North Coast and began working with his father in the forest as a timber faller. Soon realizing that working full-time compromised his real passion to make art, he traded it all in to paint full-time. In fact, he spent about five years living out of his truck and camper, painting outside, and coming to nearby Arcata, California, to occasionally exhibit his works. It took about five years of this before Schlueter decided to settle down and get a studio.
Schlueter’s appreciation for the simple life is reflected in the world in which he surrounds himself. Nestled away in his cozy studio in Old Town, Eureka, he places his easel directly under a skylight, refusing to paint under anything but natural light. “I really don’t like artificial light. It changes the colors… I’m really tuned into the natural light process.”
Stock Schlueter’s paintings, which depict the landscape of Northern California, offer a subtle array of qualities concerned with both subject matter and a pure love of design. Initially, these scenes strike the viewer as beautiful, realistic renditions of the countryside replete with intriguing trees, attractive skyscapes, bodies of water and country roads. The eye is then drawn toward the depth of the spaces created here and the liveliness they lend to the interplay of those compositional elements. This magnetic quality of his work owes to the fact that underlying his subjects is a masterful, modern approach to composition and design.
Stock Schlueter: Being Here, is partially funded by a grant from the Humboldt Art Council Beverly Faben Artist Fund and by generous community donors.
The exhibition will run from November 25 through December 23. A public reception for the artist will be held during Eureka Main Street’s Arts Alive on Saturday, December 6th from 6 to 9 p.m. First Street Gallery is open to the public Tuesday through Sunday, from noon to 5 p.m. HSU First Street Gallery will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and on November 28. The gallery is located at 422 First Street, Eureka, California. Admission is always free. School groups are encouraged to call ahead for tours. For more information, please call 707.443.6363 or go to the gallery web site at humboldt.edu/first