Artists & Galleries

Dan’s Papers Cover Artist David Kornrumpf Paints Suffolk Theater

This week’s cover is by local artist David Kornrumpf. The scene of the façade of the beloved Suffolk Theater in Riverhead, bathed in golden light with a pale blue sky peaking out from behind, is one that reminds us that autumn is an ideal time to visit historic downtown. Catching up during a mid-week lunch break, Kornrumpf discusses his art.

Dan's Papers cover artist David Kornrumpf
David Kornrumpf

Is your painting of Suffolk Theater a recent piece?
I did a bunch of paintings in the early 2000s that were landmarks of the East End. First, Southampton and then I did a series of the North Shore. That particular one of the Suffolk Theater I did in 2005. There were about 10 paintings of that series in a show… Then there was [an art show] at the Riverhead Library in their exhibition space. I had put in the landmark paintings and a few others—altogether about 30 paintings. It did well.

You show a lot of love to the East End in your work. Did you grow up here?
I was born in this country in 1965, but in ’67 my parents moved to Holland. My father was in international banking and worked for Citibank. So I was there learning Dutch—we lived near Haarlem, near the coast. In ’72 we moved to England so I spent my years there playing cricket and rugby, and having an English education. In ’83, I wanted to go to college in the States and got into Southampton College, where I had my formal art training.

After graduation, I decided, because of the weather and a few other factors, to stay on the East End instead of going back to England. At first I wanted to become an illustrator, so I went to Sayville and studied under a professor who had taught at Parsons. I learned a lot from that guy. He called me a colorist. After that, I took a hiatus for about 4 to 5 years, and finally got back into painting. Now I’ve been painting for 20 years.

During that hiatus, I did a few menial jobs—carpentry, construction—but art was always pulling me back. Then I started working at Morris Studio and learned how to become a framer—I was always around artists but didn’t paint as much as I used to. The creative juices were always pulling, though—I’d see a beautiful sunset and think of painting.

Who are some of your favorite artists or sources of inspiration?
At one point during my construction years, I got hurt and couldn’t paint right-handed. I tried left-handed and it opened me up—I became more free flowing, there was more shape, texture. The Impressionists were an influence. I finally did get the use of my right hand back, so then began two-handed painting. It catapulted my style and how I use color. I’ve begun to incorporate oil pastels now. Once the paint dries, I use oil pastel over it, and it creates a dry-brush effect. I did glazing for a while, too, it’s constantly evolving. I like trying different techniques.

I’m inspired by Monet, John Singer Sargent, N.C. Wyeth. I enjoy other Impressionists, Renoir, of course, but mostly Monet. His use of color was fascinating. The grass isn’t always green. The sky isn’t always blue. He had a great understanding of color.

Where can people go to see your artwork?
I’m a member of the Southampton Artists Association and we have a show coming up in November. I also have paintings hanging at the Wells Fargo office across the street from the movie theater on Hill Street in Southampton.

David Kornrumpf can be contacted at 631-875-7253. A website is coming soon.

Dan's Papers cover artist David Kornrumpf's painting of Suffolk Theater for the September 16, 2016 issue

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