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Brant MacLean paintings at Saper

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We are pleased to welcome Brant MacLean's Michigan paintings to the Saper Galleries collection!
Wildwing October
Wildwing, October View
Oil painting on canvas
16 x 20"
$600 framed

This is a view of Wildwing Lake, which is part of Kensington Metropark near Milford, Michigan in October. 

It’s a place I know well and paint frequently throughout the year.

This view inspired me with its oranges against the blue sky, and the sunlight catching the tops of the trees.

Kensington, September
Kensington, September
Oil painting on canvas
18 x 24"
$800 framed

This painting was completed from a plein air study and photo references from Kensington Metropark near Milford, Michigan, in September.

I was attracted to the effect of the strong morning light on this group of trees and the contrast with the island in shadow.

St. Martin
St. Martin Bay (Michigan)
Oil painting on canvas
24 x 36"
$1,100 framed
If you cross the Mackinac Bridge and follow along the lake past St. Ignace, this is St. Martin Bay, the northernmost part of Lake Huron. While fishing for salmon there, I took photo references for this painting.  I was attracted to the big sky, the dramatic clouds, and the brilliant warm yellows and oranges in the grasses against the cooler blues in the distance. The distant land masses are near Mackinac Island, but are actually the St. Martin Islands.

Balltown Panoramic
Oil painting on canvas
12 x 24"
$600 framed

In October 2019 I participated in a paint-out in Dubuque, Iowa where I painted this on location. Balltown is a tiny community north of Dubuque in farm country, and the Mississippi was visible in the far distance. I loved the color harmonies with greens, yellows, and blues, with a couple of tiny red barns, and the feeling of great distance.

End of Day
End of Day
Oil painting on canvas
  24 x 30"
$1,000 framed

I was participating in a painting workshop near Lowell, Michigan a couple of years ago and was staying at a campsite nearby.

On the way back after a very beautiful late spring day, I caught sight of this pasture with the cows returning to the barn under a very dramatic sky.

I pulled over and took a number of photo references for the painting.

Brant MacLean

My interest in art dates back to my childhood, when my mother taught art in the public school system and also painted still lifes at home.  She also designed draperies and ran a small silk-screen business out of our home. So art was part of my childhood.

I have lived in Iowa, Michigan and Ohio and currently live in Detroit, Michigan.  I had some drawing, painting and photography classes in college but am mainly self-taught, by looking at art, reading about art, learning from other artists, and by painting.

My Bachelors degree was in sociology, but after college I worked as a millwright in a steel mill and other places before returning to graduate school in psychology and working as a psychologist for 20 years. 

I have always had a love of the outdoors and shared camping and canoe trips with my wife and son, while taking many, many nature photos.  In my 40s I began painting from a live model on Saturdays, and took some community art classes.  Later I began plein air painting (landscape painting outdoors) with a group called the Michigan Plein Air Painters.  Now many of my studio paintings start with a plein air study, along with photo references.  Others depict “ordinary” scenes from my neighborhood.

I am most interested in using light, shadow and color to create a mood, in a “painterly” way, that is realistic without being photo-realistic.  I try to avoid using any formulas or limiting myself to only one style or subject matter, and often I can’t necessarily verbalize what draws me to a particular subject.

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