Title: Traffic Lines
Weight: 5.0 lbs.
Overpasses and the like are not all that ugly. They often have nice lines. This site includes an overpass and light rail rails in San Jose, CA.
I really love your painting "Above the Lot". I particularly love the color of the river and how you handled the reflection along its' banks. Great work!
Gary Coleman’s art career had a long gestation period, its academic inception going back to grade school where his preoccupation with drawing contributed to his earning a second try at first grade. He would not feel comfortable calling himself an artist until many years later, after his retirement from thirty years of teaching high school English and history. Gary minored in art and majored in English at San Jose State University, with the intention of becoming a suffering writer. Upon earning his BA, he entered a field with, he would soon discover, far more potential for suffering. He started teaching. He admits that his first year was a disaster In 1964, he applied for and got a position with the Department of State Diplomatic Courier Service to be stationed in Frankfurt, Germany. He accompanied top secret materials to virtually every capital city in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Whereas teaching offered very little time to paint, the courier job made it available, there often being a week or two of free time between trips. It also opened opportunities to see great accomplishments in art in amazing museums and galleries. He treated himself to an on location study of art history and appreciation.
After 2 ½ years of living the Cold War and witnessing Africa’s bloody emergence from colonialism, Mr. Coleman headed off to Paris where he was accepted into the prestigious Beaux Arts to study drawing and painting. This period in Paris would become especially important to his life, as he would meet the woman who would become his wife. Karoline, from the German Alps, and Gary, married since 1968, live today in San Jose, CA, and have two grown children. Gary retired from teaching in San Jose (and for two years in Brussels, Belgium) in 1998. At first he was preoccupied with the idea of producing a body of work that could be recognized as his own, but as he painted more, he found, to his relief, that he was just becoming Gary Coleman naturally. His rolling California hills and other landscapes that thrive on inspired use of color over a superstructure of well thought out composition are now recognized by many art lovers in his South Bay Area environment. While he continues to experiment with color and composition, he does so within his own artistic skin. Skin allows for expansion.
Since 1998, Gary has won more than 20 show ribbons, including 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes, in local shows. In 2001 he had a one man show entitled “The Artist as Landscape” at the Pacific Art League in Palo Alto. Praised for both its use of humor and its artistic merit, the show was comprised of paintings depicting what the artist saw of his self without the use of reflective technology. For one three-month period in 2004, he was the featured artist for the Palo Alto First Friday Art Walks. Since then, he has had a number of one-person shows, and in 2006 and 2007 he paired with sculptress Karen Devich for shows at the Pacific Art League in Palo Alto. In 2008 PacificGrove Art Center hosted Gary Coleman/Landscapes.
My recent paintings have been for the most part oil landscapes and large abstracts. I do not find anything unusual about doing a landscape one day and an abstract the next. Both depend upon color and composition. My landscapes may start with a generally realistic sketch, but once work in the studio starts, painting takes precedent over scene, emotional response over strictly visual response. My paintings are more about something than they are of it. The push of color to extremes, and the use of line to imply motion help me show what I feel about a scene or abstract idea For me, “landscape” is a peaceful concept, as a result much of the line I use is rolling, undulating line, the restful curve, the mildly exhilarating swoop. The fact that I was born among (and lived most of my life among) the rolling hills of Northern California has a good deal to do with how I approach line in my landscapes.
As to colors, I tend to lean toward warm ones, another part of my California heritage. While these warm colors are also restful to me, by increasing the intensity of hue and through proximity to a complement, color is used to add vigor to my paintings. I want the land to be alive. I want the butterfly to fly, not to be pinned to a board. Of course, the real purpose of painting is to make the painter feel alive. I love it when someone responds positively to one of my paintings, but the real charge comes from putting the paint down onto the canvas. Oils have such a nice gooey feel to them, and they allow an idea to grow and change as color is added into color; surprise is always a possibility. Once a painting gets on a roll, things start to happen faster and faster, and the conscious mind finds itself less and less in control. I may step back and ask, “Wow, did I just do that?” At the end of a session, I usually feel both tired and exhilarated. I am usually delighted with what I have done. As days pass, I usually find things that disturb me in the painting, and the second phase of painting starts, revision. This may go on for some time, as the painting sits or hangs where I can glance at it from time to time while I work on other paintings. I usually start three or four paintings at the same time. It is not unusual for a painting to get new paint months after its start. My abstracts tend to come more from my urban California upbringing (started off in Oakland), and are more likely to feature the angle than the curve, aggression vs. peace. They can be hard edged and hectic, sometimes a bit threatening. While they seem to come from a different place in my psyche, the process for painting them is the same though a bit more physically animated. I feel so privileged to have the time to dedicate to pursuing ideas in art on a consistent basis, and the vitality to strive to do so. Still, I cannot say that I have all the time I want to do all that I want to do in art. There never seems to be enough time.
Minor in Art at San Jose State University. Was accepted to and studied art at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, France. Have taken several workshops.
Have won numerous show ribbons, and have sold paintings to collectors across the US. Was the featured artist for Palo Alto First Friday for three months. Have had several one-artist shows in Palo Alto and Pacific Grove.
© Copyright The Art Gallerist.com, LLC - Laguna Beach, CA.