Summit County artist, gallery stroll participant, finds nook with Utah landscapes
William J. “Kranny” Kranstover will show a selection of Utah landscape paintings from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 31, at Park City Lodging, 820 Park Ave. The event is free and open to the public. For information, visit www.wjkart.com.
Visual artist William J. Kranstover, known as “Kranny” to his friends, approaches his paintings like each is a new discovery.
“It all comes down to a desire and passion of exploring,” said Kranstover, a longtime Summit County resident. “I see things through sketches, different compositions and color patterns. And all the paintings come out differently than the images I saw when I started them. I work with happy accidents that hopefully work with the pieces.”
Kranstover will show 20 of his new Utah landscape works during the Park City Gallery Association’s monthly Gallery Stroll from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 31, at Park City Lodging, 820 Park Ave.
The exhibit is made possible by the support of Park City Lodging Founder Rhonda Sideris and Heleena Sideris, international sales, marketing and concierge.
“They are wonderful supporters,” Kranstover said. “They have been gracious enough to host my exhibits.”
Kranstover said some of his works may not fall into the classic definition of landscape art.
“My thoughts about this surrounds natural light,” he said. “All the works I do use natural light as its main source, so I’ll consider much of what I do landscapes, even though some people may say a piece is a still life or another is a portrait. I also consider some of my abstracts landscapes.”
The paintings Kranstover will show are of images he painted depicting scenes from all around the state.
“I do have Peoa, Kamas, Woodland and some Park City stuff in there as well, but I do make a lot of paintings that are all of Utah,” he said. “I like to get out and do plein air sketches. Then I’ll bring them back to the studio and work and rework with layers and layers of paint. That’s what it’s all about.”
The exhibit will be composedof works Kranstover painted during the past year.
“I like to take my time on the paintings,” he said. “Some of the big pieces do take quite a while to finish, and I like to change things around to really look at the type of texture I want and what kinds of compositions I can create with the different colors.”
The artist’s go-to medium is acrylic, and he also adds some multimedia elements into his work. Kranstover paints over posters, newspapers and even puzzle pieces.
“I put puzzle pieces in for texture,” he said. “They pop (out) nicely because you get some shadows. You can see them if you get close to the paintings.”
The painter will also flip over a painting to see what it looks like upside down or sideways.
“I will do anything and everything to get the painting,” said Kranstover, whose prints also are seen on Cognition Wine labels. “I’ll even get the roller out and roll paint over things.”
The exhibit is also Kranstover’s homage to one of his influences, French painter Georges Braque.
Braque is known for his abstract cubism and impressionist works, Kranstover said.
“I like to tag my favorite artists and those who inspire me in my shows,” he said. “The exhibit I did before was around the anniversary of Paul Klee’s death, and I showed a series of surreal houses.”
Although Kranstover is focused on his paintings at this time of his life, he is also a sculptor.
His creations have been found on local public trails and street corners.
Kranstover was responsible for sculptures of upcycled materials that were anonymously displayed on the Union Pacific Rail Trail in the 1990s, and he and his daughter Malia Macheel created the “Light the Fire Within” metal work for the 2002 Winter Games. The sculpture is on permanent display on the corner of Kearns Boulevard and Bonanza Drive.
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