Yellow marigolds become golden stardust at Gallery 510

“We are Stardust, We are Golden” is a 24 x 24” oil on canvas painting by Cincinnati artist David Forsthoefel presented at Gallery 510. CONTRIBUTED

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“We are Stardust, We are Golden” is a 24 x 24” oil on canvas painting by Cincinnati artist David Forsthoefel presented at Gallery 510. CONTRIBUTED

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young referenced golden stardust, ancient carbon, and getting “ourselves back to the garden” at Woodstock in August of ’69. And that’s exactly what Cincinnati artist David Forsthoefel did with his newest series of oil paintings, “Spirits in the Material World.”

He went out to his back yard garden for his inspiration.

He’ll be showing 10 or 11 oil-on-canvas paintings at Gallery 510 in Dayton’s Oregon District for a little over four weeks, from July 23 until Aug. 26. The artist will be available at the gallery from 1 to 3 p.m. on the opening day of the exhibit.

“This current group of paintings takes a look at ‘floral landscapes’ up close, inspired by the beauty of garden flowers just outside my backdoor,” said Forsthoefel. “My wife, Arlene, maintains a small garden of colorful annuals each summer. I enjoy photographing these dazzling scenes for their sheer color and inspirational form.”

He then uses those images to create oil paintings that bring out the beauty of the blooms. The actual flower petals are the stars here, and he uses light and shadow to dazzling effect. “Spirits in the Material World” hits a crescendo of color and light at the tips of the blue-green stems to focus the viewer’s eye on the blooms themselves.

“There is a long tradition of floral paintings in Western culture, often meticulously arranged as a structured still life,” said Forsthoefel. “In contrast, my floral subjects change from hour to hour, and small movements in my perspective can dramatically alter the composition.”

Forsthoefel has a somewhat impressionistic interpretation. He indicated that his compositions are more about shapes and colors, not distinct flowers. The “We Are Stardust, We Are Golden” oil painting is a case in point. Some of the marigolds are hardly recognizable as such. He’s inspired by current artists such as Chad Barksdale and Trisha Adams, and past masters such as John Twachtman and Franz Bishoff.

“Dave has consistently created new bodies of work that always appeal to my clients. He is a Dayton native who has a large following of family and friends,” said Gallery 510 owner Loretta Puncer. “His work is emblematic of many of the terrific artists that we have here at the gallery. Gallery 510 Fine Art will celebrate its 10th anniversary soon and I am happy to have shown Dave’s work almost all of that time.”

The 45-year resident of Cincinnati grew up in Dayton and is a Carroll High School graduate. He retired from a career in commercial design in 2005. He’s had a lifelong interest in the visual arts, and many of his past works are Midwest landscapes or sculptural figures. He is a signature member of the Cincinnati Art Club, the Lexington Art Guild in Florida, and the Transparent Watercolor Society.

Want to go?

WHAT: Spirits in the Material World by David Forsthoefel

WHERE: Gallery 510, 508 E. Fifth Street

WHEN: July 23 to Aug. 26

OPENING RECEPTION: 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, July 23

HOURS: Noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday or by appointment

MORE INFO: 937-672-6717 |

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