D.T. LaVercombe is a representational artist who considers his art to be abstract. “No matter how much detail or how ‘realistic’ a painter paints a canvas, it is still a two dimensional abstraction of life”. LaVercombe always honors the canvas, the flat surface that is home to his work. There is honesty to his work. It is all about the media, with no underlying theme, what you see is what you get.
Working primarily in oils on canvas, he conveys the essence of his subject with just enough detail to capture the spirit. Focusing on the interplay of light and color, with a strong emphasis on color, LaVercombe creates images of his world. Influenced by the postimpressionist of Europe, the American ‘Ashcan’ art of John Sloan and Japanese wood block printing, LaVercombe has always played the color card in his work. Carving the canvas with strong color contrast to obtain dynamic results.
Moving to Northeast Florida, LaVercombe discovered a new landscape to paint, one dominated by the deep inner space of the swamps and hammocks and the intense sun light of this near equatorial part of the world. Working from photos and embellishing with his mind, he goes beyond the static realm of the snapshot. His recent landscape focus on ‘Nature in the City’, he seeks out natural settings in the midst of urban sprawl.
Along with the landscape, LaVercombe continues his love of food with the still life; these are created strictly from his imagination and memory. LaVercombe pair’s favorite food and kitchen objects, chosen for their shape and color, in his flat perspective that crowds the canvas, like a festive cornucopia. A feast for the visual senses, LaVercombe’s still life’s bombard the viewer with strength and whimsy, creating brightness in an other wise dull world.
LaVercombe controls the total piece of art from building the stretcher, stretching the canvas then priming it, first with rabbit skin glue, next, latex primer and finally a middle tone oil wash. This process is a meditative period for him as an artist, one in which he visualizes his future paintings. Thinking about and studying his work is a large part of his art, even when he is not in the studio, LaVercombe is nurturing and growing the image in his mind. However, when, paintbrush in hand, in front of his work he tries to free his mind and let the image flow on to the canvas.
Through the texture of the paint and the manipulation of the colors the results of his work is both pleasing and disturbing. The viewers find themselves, delighted by the images, yet somehow longing for more. The viewer wishes to taste of the food, feel the breeze of late afternoon or catch the scent of the swamp, their eyes leading their imagination further into the work. The success of these pieces is achieved through a vitality of palette and a lifetime of brushwork that create that open a portal into a world beyond.