The Banning Art Gallery is currently hosting the art of Robert Le Duc and Chuck McCracken, two California born artists who show similar styles in some of their works and are totally different in others.
McCracken is a board member of the Cultural Alliance of the Pass. He is an award winning artist and chairs the Western Art Show at the Gilman Ranch.
McCracken developed an interest in western art as a result of being a fan of the western at an early age. In the 1950’s he watched television shows such as Roy Rogers, The Lone Ranger, and Hopalong Cassidy every Saturday morning. Another favorite was Davy Crockett. Although he grew-up in the suburbs of Los Angeles; those early influences were not forgotten.
McCracken said art was a “big factor” while growing up. He said in his youth he would draw portraits of family members. At the age of 13, he saved money from a newspaper route and ordered an oil painting set from the Sears and Roebuck catalog. He still has his first painting he did in 1963.
His early western influences and the fact that he is within minutes of long horned cattle, horse ranches, and desert landscapes have helped him evolve into a southwestern painter. Chuck was self-taught until he entered college and began taking art classes.
Le Duc is also a self-taught artist. Born in Pasadena and was interested in art from a very young age. He did a lot of drawing and painting in school and at home. In high school he began to work in oils and began landscape painting and backgrounds for school plays. In his twenties he was an architectural draftsman and rendering artist. Le Duc put his painting on hold as he married and started a family. He didn’t resume until much later in life.
His love for the outdoors, camping, fishing and backpacking inspired his desire to do landscapes. As he was inspired by the eastern Sierras, he took photos and did sketches and put his visions on canvas.
Le Duc has different visions in his head at different times that define his works. Most often it is realism with nature and landscapes. Other times he has surreal visions that dictate those paintings and then sometimes he sees things in abstract and those images find their way to a canvass.
McCracken and Le Duc are co-op members of the Banning Art Gallery. McCracken has been with the Gallery since 2005 creating and selling his work. Le Duc since 2016 and now devotes most of his time to his art.
A reception for the two artists joint exhibit will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. on Jan. 19 at the Gallery at 42 W. Ramsey St, on the San Gorgonio Street side of the Haven Bistro. The public is invited to enjoy their work and wonderful refreshments.