“The secret is to skip everything underneath it,” says Thomas Foster Hermansader, a local artist.
The artist, best known for his watercolor and oil paintings of Lancaster County’s historic landmarks, talks about his technique of applying layers of color to each other. The process, he said, similar to Andrew Wyatt’s egg tempera technique, may involve more than 100 glazes to hone, hone and refine your item.
With the same ease he could talk about the ethereal quality of his compositions and how his use of light and color evokes emotions in viewers and reveals the warmth of cold stone historic buildings that he prefers in his works.
Hermansader, who received the S. Emlen Urban Award from the Lancaster County Preservation Foundation in 2019 for educating and promoting historic sites in the area, will exhibit and for the first time exhibit a significant number of his original works for sale in a single exhibition from 5pm to 7pm. : 00 on Friday at the house of Zener-Elicot-von Hess, 123 N. Prince St. in Lancaster.
But saying goodbye to some of his creations will not be easy.
“After working on a painting for several hundred hours, you become very attached to it,” says Hermansader.
Hermansader is 71 years old. Especially significant age for an artist who has been professionally engaged in painting for about 50 years.
Hermansader sold the engravings and some earlier originals, but kept most of his original products for sale to help him financially in retirement.
“When I was 20-25 years old, 70 years seemed unattainable,” Hermansader says. “But suddenly I looked in the mirror last year and realized it was time to sell my more expensive paintings.”
The Lancaster County Preservation Foundation will present more than 50 works by Hermansader’s original watercolor and oil paintings during the first Friday event, including Lancaster County attractions such as Thaddeus Stevens School of Technology, Mill Sickman, Covered Bridge, Hansek Bridge, Hansera Wright’s mansion, the Euphrates monastery and more.
“Many people have seen prints of different places around Lancaster County, but the opportunity to see – and buy – the originals – is quite special,” said Daniel Kepperling, executive director of the Foundation for the Preservation of Historical Heritage. “The capture of historic sites in and around Lancaster County provides another snapshot of the evolution of these buildings.”
Hermaster grew up in an art studio.
“My father was a portrait painter, and I stood in his studio and watched him paint,” says German. “I was impressed. It was like magic. “
He says he remembers how, despite the fact that his father was an extremely talented and respected portrait painter, in his 30s and 40s he often fought for money. Portraits – even of famous people – can often be difficult to sell on the secondary market, Hermansader says.
“I knew that if I painted buildings, I would find enough people to buy their prints,” Hermansader says.
His father advised him to develop and improve his drawing skills, which he called “the backbone of art.”
“I was very lucky that my dad was a great person and a great artist, and had the biggest impact on my life.”
Hermansader taught art in the Columbia School District from 1973 to 1989, which allowed him to paint in the evenings, on weekends and in the summer. Hermaster worked in spontaneous, free-style painting from 1973-81. Then, in 1981, he decided to move to a more rigorous and detailed approach. His first subject to use this new more demanding style, which he said could take 200 to 400 hours, was Wright’s mansion in Colombia.
Satisfied with the results, Hermansader decided to show Wright’s original painting “Ferry Mansion” on an easel along with engraving order forms at the Columbia Market House when it opened at two in the evening around the Halloween parade in Colombia.
He took 54 orders, calculated his costs and profits and knew he had a successful model. Since then, he has sold most of his previous, freer works (although some will be available during the pop-up event) and occasionally newer originals, but for the next 40 years he focused mainly on selling prints.
The prints were popular – and he said at least two former U.S. presidents – former President Bill Clinton and former President George W. Bush – have prints of his work.
Every pebble is accurate
“I like realism,” says German. And he means it.
It is dedicated to depicting their objects as they are in real life. He says he often spends hours in every place, studying through binoculars the tiny details of each subject, taking pictures to then pay attention in his studio, and drawing on the spot to make sure his colors fit and all his details are correct. He says he counted the rows of shingles in Hans Hehr’s house (19) and the fences against the backdrop of the Strasbourg Railway (159).
“I thought that if an architect could spend so much time designing a building and a builder could spend so much time building it, I think I could represent that equally,” Hermansader says.
One of the themes he is especially proud of is the watercolor painting of the House of Hans Hera. Many artists have dealt with this theme, including the world-famous Andrew Wyatt.
“Andrew Wyatt was commissioned to paint the House of Hans Hera, and he drove up to the station wagon and painted it in two hours,” says Hermansader, referring to what is now known as the Museum of 1719. “It’s just a little watercolor, it’s beautiful, and it’s also his style.”
But the German Ambassador was not stopped by the efforts of other artists. He told Earl Groff, then curator of the House of Hans Gehr, that no artist would invest as many hours as he gave to the painting. A year later, he returned to the House of Hans Hera with his painting and exhibited it to the same curator who studied it before saying, in the words of Hermansader, “This is the best painting of the House of Hera.”
This painting will also be on display, but it will have a “sold out” sticker.
Chad Snyder, president of the tomb of Charles F. Snyder, purchased the painting for $ 8,000. He will show it at the Hans Hera Chapel at the new location of the funeral home on Willow Street, scheduled to open in July. The funeral homes have prints of Germanosaders’ work in several places, but this is the first original they have purchased.
“We are very happy to be able to own the original work of his work,” Snyder says. “I don’t think many people have seen the original, so to be able to take it out of its attic and showcase it in the same city at a new funeral home so thousands of people can enjoy and appreciate when they come to the funeral is just it made so much sense. ”
The German Prime Minister is currently working on a painting of Steinman Park, and since the project, he has become more familiar with the details of the area, including the newspaper Reader sculpture, from printing on the page he reads to his shoes. bent.
“When I sign my name on this painting, it’s my way of saying,‘ This is the best, the best thing I can write about this subject, ’” Hermansader says. “I try to paint it as accurately as possible. I’m proud of that. “