Thursday, September 11, 2008

First Influence

If you were to read my Bio/Statement on my Website (which is, of course, required reading for all!!), you would see some of the artists from the past who have influenced the way I work on my landscapes.

One artist, however, is missing from the list. This was a man with a German accent who I used to see at a weekly art show in the early 1970's at Griswold's in Claremont, CA. He painted mostly desert scenes that had an Old Master quality about them. His world was always "at the spring," with everything in bloom and rugged mountains rising tall behind the saguaros and ocotillos.

I was attending college in those days (actually, one of numerous runs in college) and wasn't working. So, sadly, I wasn't able to buy one of his paintings. I think this artist (whose name I don't remember) figured I might buy a piece sooner or later: he always made it a point to get up from his chair and come over to talk to me as I stood there, practically drooling over the beauty of his paintings.

Indeed, to this day I wish I would have found a way to hustle the money to buy one. He captured the sheer majesty of the desert in a way that inspires me today. I consider him the first influence in my painting career, and unfortunately, I'm unable to list his name because I don't know it. I doubt that he is alive today, and since Griswold's stopped doing the art shows years ago and has changed ownership at least once (it isn't even called "Griswold's" anymore), and since his studio/gallery that was located in Pomona, CA is long gone, I have no way to locate him or even search for his paintings online.

So the lesson is this: if you see art that touches you in a deeply profound way: BUY IT!! Now!! You, like me, may regret not doing so years from now. Truly one-of-a-kind art from one-in-a-kind artists is rare, and when you finally realize how much better your life would be if you only had "that painting" or "that sculpture" or whatever -- it may be too late.

You can buy that flat-screen TV anytime. They'll be around. Artists may not be.

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