Gretchen Armbruster -
Gretchen Armbruster’s landscapes, still-lifes
and figures are lucid visions of land and light, object and atmosphere, body
and beauty’s eloquence.
Her portfolio exhibits an extensive range of styles, mediums, and subjects.
She selects her medium based upon the dictates of her subject matter and the
feelings or insights that the subject evokes within her. She says, “If it’s
a floral, a lot of times I think that it looks prettier in watercolor. If
it’s a landscape, I think it looks prettier in oil.” A child at casual play
on the beach comes to life under her pencils and watercolors; whereas a
child in its formal Sunday attire lives in a grand, oil portrait. If subject
matter and feeling or insight shape her creative intentions and inform her
style, drawing shapes the structural backbone of the painting itself.
Gretchen feels strongly that the ability to draw is essential to success as
a painter. In fact, her conviction has motivated her to teach drawing at the
Although she is equally at home painting portraits, the human figure,
florals, landscapes and waterscapes in a variety of mediums, her
monochromatic oil paintings of land, sky and water are a distinctive
signature. Their construction of light and color summon a meditative stance,
a sense of tranquility, a peaceful turn of mind in the viewer.
Gretchen grew up in New Orleans where she studied art from an early age. She
majored in art at Louisiana State University and attended the John McCrady
School of Art on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter. She also studied at
the New Orleans Art Institute.
Her murals grace the walls of many historic buildings in New Orleans
including the Old Absinthe House, the children’s wing of Ochsner Foundation
Clinic and the children’s emergency room at West Jefferson Hospital. Her art
can be found as illustrations for the Bacchus Organization, as charity
posters, as Hollywood props, as wine labels and as other commercial art. For
three years she created a series of posters for the Crescent City Classic,
an annual marathon. The organizers selected her for the contract with the
intent of shifting the poster series from a purely graphic orientation to a
fine-art orientation. Her works are held in private and corporate
collections and are shown in galleries throughout the country.