Noted realist painter Drew Ernst arrived at Sperryville’s Long View Gallery in late February and is now painting a life-sized Angus cow in the gallery. “At seven by eight feet it will be the largest painting ever presented in the gallery, and as Ernst’s work is of the first order, it also promises to be one of the best,” said gallery director Andrew Haley.
“I encountered Drew’s work several years ago in the Butler Museum of American Art; we spoke several times in the following years and in December I traveled to Pittsburgh to view his work in person. I purchased two pieces on the spot and have since brought several others into the gallery,” Haley said.
Ernst went to work immediately on arrival, preparing panels and moving about the county, selecting a subject and making reference photographs. “Walking through fields looking for the right subject, most of the animals ran away, I found myself near a well with a cow that seemed curious; I had my subject,” said Ernst. “I want to convey the light and beauty of the landscape along with the gritty presence of the cow — there is so much open space here, the panels I prepped don’t seem big enough.”
Painting began on the first of March with a monochromatic under painting. Work will progress for the next several weeks; the public is invited to drop by the gallery to meet the artist.
Ernst also took time out from his painting to participate in Wakefield Country Day School’s fine arts program. A graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Ernst splits his time between New York and his Pittsburgh studio. His work can be viewed online at www.longviewgallery.com or www.drewernstart.com.
Long View is open 10 to 6 Thursday through Monday.