Daniel Rauschenbach is a Youngstown artist who has made his subject just that: Youngstown. He brought paintings and leatherwork to the event to sell at the vendor marketplace during the day. Rauschenbach said he believes that Youngstown isn’t as dead as many believe it to be, using Federal Frenzy as an example of the city’s vitality.

“It’s so crazy. Everyone says that Youngstown’s dead, or Youngstown’s all this other stuff, and then you see this boom. All these events pop up so quickly and hundreds of people come out to support something,” Rauschenbach said. “You know when you have that refreshing breath of air? It’s just a refreshing day to see the downtown alive. It’s great to see people in the downtown.”



When the wind blows.....

Rauschenbach Statement


Recently I have been exploring landscapes as an exploration to find or make a good story. The paintings depict nautical landscapes with towering expressionistic clouds, contrasting colors, and a bit of comfort.


“To my mind, a picture should be something pleasant, cheerful, and pretty, yes pretty! There are too many unpleasant things in life as it is without creating still more of them.”

Pierre-Auguste Renoir


Renoir was correct in saying there is many unpleasant things in the world. Contemporary art is a depiction of grief capturing the senses and ramming the brutality of life further into our minds. There are many contemporary artists that capture the beauty in individuals or their lives, and then use unique materials, and then with a lengthy statement, you get the picture. Many have written about how in contemporary arts traditional painting have no place because it has been done. This is true but the story behind every creator, every visual artist is different, and depiction of a subject can be captured in a spectrum of materials. But man, does it feel good to paint, to open up the strokes, and lay some phthalo blue down on some paper.


Painting the narrative through representation has become more meaningful after a resent series of painting building in Youngstown, Ohio. These structures have been present for workforces, downfalls, and neglect but still survive as a part of a changing city. A building that was depicted in a painting last year was the Kress Building built in 1925 was torn down in front of me with construction works on their lunch breaks checking out my progress. At one point a man yells down, “have you painted this part yet”, a kind gesture moments before he would take hammer to it. People would walk past and tell me their history with the building, maybe a feeling or to about the state of things. This reaction to a location also occurs during painting plein air or photographing when people tell you what they see, what they feel, that doesn’t go away it remains as a part of that painting. To create a painting that is able to transfer beauty, positivity, and a charm to the viewer is a gift that allows the viewer to escape for a few moments. The equivalent to visually singing out loud in the car is the goal of the recent series and hopefully a direction that is followed for a while.


Hopefully the long strokes are able to move the viewer’s eyes across the piece, representation that triggers moments of remembering for the audience, and the colors standout. Every piece should contain a good story, and if you ever want to know start up a conversation, make up your own story, or even remember. Hopefully the pieces will keep your attention longer then a few moments. 

Phelps and West Federal

The beginning of 2015 has been productive with most of the time, well all the time working on a new piece based on a street landscape of Youngstown, Ohio. This piece brings a bit of the old into the new and pushes forward with the social realism. The winter has keep me in the studio with little or no artistic endeavors happening outside. There has been a few photo shots and maybe a sketch from the car outside but no plein air for me. This piece will hopefully keep me busy for January and then progression into a few more pieces shortly after.


Maine 2014

Beginning to paint in Maine, has been a little slow going, but this summer should bring growth and success in creating. Currently painting with watercolour on rice paper. The rice paper is creating challenges that are really good and not so good such as being very delicate when wet. These challenges are exciting and will fuel the growth the work.


Flower of Spring and heading back north

This has been a long winter that has allowed for many different directions and a lot of quality hours spent in the studio. Head back to Maine for summer painting in a week and excited about new approaches to style and technique. Then recently with flower coming alive in northern Ohio a recent series of photos have been uploaded, check them out, get the eyes use to color again after a winter of black and a lot of white.


The Beauty

Family, Friends, and Art are all wonderful parts of life. Weird how sometimes which ones move to the top of the list and the others at the bottom. Luckily, well at least for me, my escape is art. Even if it's the nightly escape of inking in lines. It reminds me to breath, think, and see all the beauty that is in this life. If you read any of these post, remember that take time to look, smile, enjoy life....



If there can ever be a place that rivals uniqueness of Maine it would be Youngstown, Ohio. The small engine that could located in the heart of the Rustbelt, Youngstown has character like no other. More snow at the moment then Maine and tons more people in my day to day. Working both on landscapes of the downtown and a few commissions from Maine hopefully the work will keep me warm. An exhibit of Youngstown artwork will go on display at the Mckelvey Gallery in the downtown on December 21, opening at 6:30pm.


Next few steps.....

In Maine the weather, the sun, and leafs are all mostly down. As with that so has been painting this week. Have been able to stretch about forty sheets of paper in different odd shapes. So plenty of paper and plenty to paint just need to pick up the brush. With a bit of traveling coming in November the expansion of imagery will help pick up speed again. Listened to a lecture today by American Photographer Daniel Fox, discussing discovery as an adventure and being able to delete. It only takes one good piece to get the message a course. Love the action of creating and never letting go of passion for something that you believe in. For me that's capturing the landscape of today. Forty sheets of paper, forty different stories, and one goal.


Moose Pond

Taking a moment from painting and moving the fingers. The breeze coming off the water is a little chilly. But the shallow waves on the water and fall foliage create a great contrast. Behind me are clouds rolling in from the White Mountains. Painting outdoors, love it. Feeling small and capturing that moment or a place is an adventure of discovery. The concept is real life and beauty. The negative which it's hard to find, kinda not, it's the cold breeze kissing the cheeks.


Finishing up Sebago

Crazy to start from plein air painting and move into the studio for the final rounds with a piece. Sebago Lake with is located in lower central Maine in the Lake Region of Maine provided a beautiful back drop to sit in a state park and paint. The day started off going from site to site and lake to lake but the weather won't have it at the other lakes, wind keep pushing the boards over... Luckily at Sebago the wind hit from behind, bringing a warm fall breeze, and the smell of locals having a final outdoor camp fire of the season. Traveling through the state now the colorful canopies are shedding weight. Leafs and pine needles rain down, this week a temperatures will hit freezing. The cycles in which this place transforms, usually in contrast to the previous season. This will make it exciting to see my first winter in Maine.


Painting near Bailey Island Bridge

It's difficult sometimes painting outside, not really the materials, but capturing any image that has the tide coming in and out.

Bailey Island Bridge in Harpswell,Me. This was a place with a bridge made of granite slabs. Fall now in full swing in Maine casting thousands of colors in the tree line. The tide as it lowered it revealed a golden rod colored sea weed covering the tops of the rocks near the channel between Orr's Island and Baileys Island.