My Painting Inspirations

What have been my inspirations to paint?  I was fortunate to have an art instructor during my last two high school yinthestudio_04ears who was supportive and encouraged his students to carry out their ideas to see what could develop. His lack of restriction helped me to see the possibilities. But I was lucky to attend the Univ. of New Mexico when they had one of the best Fine Art staffs in the U.S. at that time- the late 1950’s through mid-1960’s. My instructors included Robert Mallory, an abstract expressionist from New York and Walter Kuhlman, a west coast abstract expressionist from San Francisco. We also had Elaine DeKooning of New York as a painting instructor. She was great in getting us to break out of our restrictive small-scale ways of drawing and to take on larger canvas sizes. We painted on large formats with big house painting brushes to loosen up. There was a cheap paint store in Albuquerque where we could go to pick up discontinued gallons of paint- various colors that any fine arts student on a low budget could appreciate ! The more representative instructors included Sam Smith, a watercolorist of some renown and Kenneth Adams, the last surviving member of the Taos School (at that time). Kenneth had this fantastic style of layering transparent watercolor, but he was also a great life drawing instructor.  During my years in the West Pacific, another influence was a Philippino watercolorist named Salvación. He had studied at the University of Manila and had developed a style that was very convincing. But like many, I was also influenced by the great watercolorist Winslow Homer and some of the painters of the American Wilderness School.

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