This month’s Gallery Stroll will feature ‘Kranny’
Kranstover exhbit will open at Stephanie Evans Interior Design
Visual artist William J. Kranstover is known for showing his works in various ways. His creations can be found on local public trails, wine-bottle labels and street corners.
The artist, known as “Kranny” to local residents and friends, was responsible for sculptures of up-cycled materials on the Rail Trail in the 1990s. Prints of his acrylic paintings are on Cognition Wines and his “Light the Fire Within” metal work, designed by his daughter Malia Macheel for the 2002 Winter Games, found a permanent home on the corner of Kearns Boulevard and Bonanza Drive.
Kranstover’s next exhibit will open from 6-9 p.m., during the Park City Gallery Association’s monthly gallery stroll, on Friday, June 30, at Stephanie Evans Interior Design, 1729 Sidewinder Drive.
“It will be at my wife’s interior design studio,” Kranstover said during an interview and tour of his Peoa studio earlier this week. “We just joined the Park City Area Gallery Association, so this will be our first official Gallery Stroll, and we’re looking forward to it.”
The exhibit will feature 35 to 40 new acrylic paintings.
“It’s going to be a small show with small works and a couple of big pieces,” Kranstover said. “Most of the paintings are recent, and I would say I did them within the past eight months.”
Although Kranstover worked in real estate for more than 30 years, his creative love was always art.
He graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in fine art and has taught art in Australia and Utah.
Throughout those years, Kranstover developed his own artistic statement.
“I have a lot of different techniques and work with a lot of different styles, depending on how I feel from day to day,” he said. “Over the years, I have developed a common thread that goes through all of my art, whether I do abstracts or representational works.”
The thread is based on color and composition.
“I weave those things into the paintings and they have become integral to how I approach a piece,” Kranstover said. “There are four different components that gets me going: the concept, the composition, the color and the commitment.”
He calls those his “four C’s.”
“The last one, the commitment, is not that easy,” Kranstover confessed. “You get the idea in your head and then you have to follow through, and sometimes it doesn’t work.”
Most of the time Kranstover finds ways to make his paintings work.
“I painted a study of flowers based on a still life, and then I did a finished product,” he said. “You could see how the painting evolved from the more traditional representation into the abstract. That’s kind of how my paintings evolve.
“I also do small studies that will drop into bigger finished pieces if the concept works. My typical big piece is 36 inches by 36 inches.”
Kranstover said he prefers abstracts to realism.
“It’s boring for me to do representational compositions,” he said. “I can do them, but you may as well take a photograph.”
The artist also likes abstracts because they become a sort of puzzle.
“I can paint myself into corners and it’s fun trying to get out,” he said. “Well, sometimes it’s not.”
Like many artists, Kranstover doesn’t know when a study will be turned into a finished painting.
“That’s why I have all of these paintings on my studio wall,” he said. “I’ll look at them, and if I see a section that bothers me, I’ll take it down and work on it.”
Acrylic paints allow Kranstover to work on more paintings than if he painted with oils.
“That’s the nice thing about acrylics,” he said. “They dry pretty quickly, so you can go over it fairly quickly.”
Acrylics are also low maintenance.
“They are an easy medium for me, and they’re not toxic,” Kranstover said. “I can lay down paint in the tubes, get it going and then fill up a water bucket, drop my brush in it, wash my hands and leave.
“Most of the artist I know spend a lot of time with set-up and take-down. That’s the last thing I want, because the only thing I want to do when I get to my studio is paint. The other things are too tedious for me.”
Some of Kranstover’s paintings become collages when he adds multi-media elements that include magazines, newspapers, dress pattern paper and bits of photographs.
“I use these things not to be representational but to balance the composition,” he said. “I use whatever works in the painting. I use them as a point of interest, color and shape.
“Collage is interesting for me because when you see it, you can find something new in it. I use the collage not much to say something, although there are letters and words. A lot of people will use the collage to get a message out or something like that. But I don’t.”
Unlike some artists, Kranstover will know when a painting is finished.
“It happens when I put it away and then bring it out and won’t want to work on it again,” he said. “There have been times, however, when people will buy my paintings that I feel aren’t done, but love of art is in the eye of the beholder.”
While Kranstover is currently obsessed with painting, he knows he will eventually return to sculpting.
“I have done a lot of sculpting and I’ll still do them, but this is much more pleasureful for me at this time,” he said. “I will go back to sculpting, but I’m having a ball right now.”
A new acrylic painting exhibit by William J. Kranstover will open with a reception from 6-9 p.m., during the Park City Gallery Association’s monthly gallery stroll, on Friday, June 30, at Stephanie Evans Interior Design, 1729 Sidewinder Drive. The event is free and open to the public. For information, visit http://www.wjkart.com.
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