Published in 2006 Library of Congress Control Number: 2006906279
140 page, hard bound cover, limited edition book on the life and art of Max R. Scharf. It contains 149 color plates of Max's original paintings. Michelman writes about Max's paintings, his techniques, and his life and goals.
This first edition is limited to 100 books, hand signed & numbered by the artist. The size of the book is 8 1/2" x 8 1/2". Printed in the USA.
Contact: Esther Scharf
Max R. Scharf
By Jeffrey L. Michelman
You know the feeling when you are in a great mood or something wonderful happens, and suddenly it seems that the world is literally a brighter place?The trees are greener; the sky is bluer, the flowers deeper shades of red, yellow, and pink?The creative genius of fine artist Max Scharf is able to perfectly capture those moments of delight for all eternity on canvas.His paintings sing with harmonious color, radiant light and strong movement.In reference to his use of color, he said, “I always admired the French Fauve artists and the wild colors they used.”Characterized by brilliant color, Scharf weaves unique compositions that highlight the relationships of space and contrast in a scene.He magically infuses bold color into unexpected places and objects to convey the feeling he sees and experiences in a scene, creating a deliriously joyful world.His destiny in his work is to create paintings that are jubilant celebrations of color, light, and motion to brighten the day, everyday, for his viewers.
True to the form of the Impressionists, Scharf makes light and exchanges of colored reflections his unifying elements, rather than the traditional methods of drawing and outline.He strives to link the outside world to the soul, focusing on naturalistic forms and employing short brushstrokes with more subtle color relationships.His work reveals scenes of complexity and vitality, giving shape to even seemingly shapeless open spaces and incorporating intense light and bright colors.As a result, his paintings invite the viewer into a world of safety and untouchable bliss with lovely views, sunny landscapes, and engaging waterscapes.They are snapshots of beautifully perfect moments in time and nature.He continues to develop an evolving style and technique of modern Impressionism that is all his own, bringing light and life to both the subject and the viewer, and appropriately earning him the title of “colorist” that he was given in 1974 by Walter Lantz, creator of Woody Woodpecker.Later, the title was suitably extended by a gallery owner into “Impressionist Expressionist Colorist.”
Max Scharf was born in 1933 in St. Louis, Missouri, where he still lives with his wife Esther. His paintings and limited prints are in corporate and private collections in over fifteen countries plus the United States.
When he begins a painting, he feels as though the master Impressionists are over his shoulder observing his progress.His work seems to hold a higher purpose, for he feels that it must please not only him but also those who have paved the road before him.He feels a duty and responsibility to produce artwork of a quality worthy of credit to himself in his own unique talent, but also to his predecessors who provided him with such influence.His art is a clear testimony that his goal is exceedingly achieved.
He paints fairly large (30”x40” or 36”x48”), in a style that is slow and accurate.Now in his seventies, working 5-6 hours a day, it takes an average of four weeks to complete a painting.Today he works mostly from the photographs taken on his trips. The paintings tend to have 10-15 layers of many colors in the end, with thousands of strokes per painting.He is so hard on his brushes that they only last a couple of paintings, since they get quite a workout while they are being used.“When I can’t put another stroke on the canvas, then I know I’m done.”
What makes his work really stand out is the unfiltered joy and positive energy that erupts from the canvas.He paints a feeling rather than simply an image, giving a life and expression to his paintings that viewers can connect with.It is one of the main reasons people enjoy and prefer his art.
All of his paintings exude warmth, life, and beauty.Some inspire intense movement through pockets of swirls and twirling colors, while others instill a quieter reflective energy hidden just beneath the surface of more delicate movement, allowing color to speak for itself.Both are riveting to the viewer.
Max Scharf is a relentlessly dedicated and disciplined painter who paints until his standards of message, composition, and workmanship are totally satisfied, completely exhausted when he finishes a piece.A part of him transfers to the painting when it is done. As he moves into his 73rd year of life, his masterpieces can only deepen in expression and profundity.His multitude of immense and widespread achievements predicts nothing less.In fact, they indicate that we are truly in the presence of a promising guide and an ‘Impressionist, Expressionist, Colorist’ master in the making.