"At the expense of rejection, I expose my passion with paint for it is with this strength I spotlight the vulnerable part of me; without that element, my paintings would be void of feeling. Trompe l'oeil leaves no room for shyness or timidity, because it dares to defy reality. I paint with passion and uncompromising detail to captivate my viewers with the intrigue of Trompe l'Oeil. The deceptive depth perception, shadows, unseen light source, and artistically replicated composition render the illusion.
The best analogy I can express is likened to reading a good novel or watching a good movie. The viewer is drawn in, becomes part of the story, or even becomes the character. I am a gift giver and when I create a work, it is not only the gift of the painting, it is the ribbons and bows, suspense and surprise, memories and emotion I bestow, because it contains part of myself. I intend my painting to remain forever a pleasure and fountain of joy and interaction to the viewer and owner."
DONALD CLAPPER (American, b. 1959), grew up in the Northeast, home of many great American still life and trompe l'oeil masters. However, this coincidence did not influence his attraction to the world of art... it was an unplanned stop to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia in the late 1980's that became the catalyst that drew him to trompe l'oeil and classical realist painting. When he saw an original William Harnett painting, he marveled at Harnett's ability to create illusionary dimension with incredible detail and began a personal study on the Dutch still life painters and the American trompe l'oeil painters of the late nineteenth century, William M. Harnett, John Haberle and John F. Peto.
Clapper's painting developed during the 1980-90's in Gainesville, Florida during the quiet evening and predawn hours. It was during this season, he developed his own techniques and proficiency as he applied the old masters' methods of indirect lighting, shadow, glazing and multi dimensional affects to the canvas. He began his first series of tabletop still lifes, including "Afternoon Tea", which won both local and nationwide awards, including a centerfold award in the Art Calendar Magazine.
After a period of painting still lifes, Clapper completed "Tribute to William Harnett", a painting that not only pays homage to his first 'silent mentor'... what's more, it eludes the viewer to believe it may have been painted from the studio of none other than John Peto, Harnett's student and friend.
In 1994, he relocated his family to Scottsdale, Arizona where he still lives and works in his Fountain Hills studio. Clapper's study focused once again to the genre of trompe l'oeil painting including some modern day masters, namely Ken Davies, Gayle B. Tate and David Brega. Clapper's work has received regional as well as national recognition. His award winning oil paintings are currently available through the Taos Gallery in the downtown art district of Scottsdale and at the van de Griff / Marr Gallery on Canyon Rd, Santa Fe, NM. He stays busy with show preparations and commissions in both trompe l'oeil and other still life forms.
Clapper is co-founder of the Trompe l'Oeil Society of Artists, an exclusive group of today's finest artists dedicated to the genre of trompe l'oeil, formed for the purpose of promoting and advancing the visibility of trompe l'oeil on a national level.
EXHIBITIONS & GALLERIES:
Vanier Galleries; Scottsdale, Arizona
Trompe l'Oeil Society of Artists -
President and Cofounder
The appeal of painting trompe l'oeil artwork for me is the "wow factor" that comes from creating seemingly three-dimensional objects within a two-dimensional painting space. I believe the objects can't be just random items that are pretty to paint; they must help tell a story or illustrate a theme so that the painting involves the viewer at many different levels. When I started specializing in the trompe l'oeil genre, I focused on the nostalgic, classic 1800's style of composition and technique. Now, I find myself seeking the challenge of painting 21st Century themes and trying to introduce innovative compositions or "fool the eye" devices into the paintings. I don't paint to sell, I paint to create. It's a challenge that makes every day in my studio a dream career.
Larry Charles (American, born 1951) is the co-founder of the Trompe l'Oeil Society of Artists. His trompe l'oeil oil paintings are exhibited at the Van de Griff/Marr Gallery on Canyon Road in Santa Fe. He also shows his watercolor paintings in Singapore and his commissioned work appears frequently in national magazines and books featuring the the top designer homes in New York City. Prior to becoming a full-time artist, Charles was the worldwide creative director for the largest agency on Madison Avenue for fourteen years. He was an instructor at the University of Southern California in his younger days. He now maintains his home and studio in Arizona, and frequently lectures and writes articles for international art magazines.he
In this age of rapidly advancing technology, my desire to preserve the artistic disciplines grow stronger. Reverance and admiration for the Old masters fuel my passion for painting. My intention as an artist is to intrique and entertain the beholder, as well as challenge myself.
Ideas for paintings come to me in a number of ways. Sometimes the title of a painting will come to me first, provoked by a conversation or controversy. I will then try to convey my concept through the subject matter. Other times an object alone will be my inspiration. Also, I am often inspired by the scenarios that make up daily life. Painting from life, I work from the actual setup or on location. All my canvasses or panels are toned. Texture is determined by the surface I choose. Oils and Maroger medium are what I prefer to work with. Using burnt umber and medium I block in the abstract mass, defining negative and positive space. Only when the drawing is refined do I introduce color. I always work large to small, dark to light, bringing the vision into focus.
1980-2002 Commercial Art Department,
Luzerne County Community College
1990-1991 Studied Under Ann Schuler -
Schuler School of Fine Art, Baltimore, Maryland
Trompe l'Oeil Society of Artists
2002 Van de Griff/Gallery, Santa Fe,New
Mexico Invitational Exhibition
2001 Portrait Arts Festival, Metropolitan
Museum, New York (3rd Place Award for Portrait Painting)
My love of detail and working on a small scale led me to pursue a career in scientific illustration which included medical, botanical, entomological, and archaeological where close observation, "patience", and accuracy were required. I apply these attributes to my trompe l'oeil paintings.
Teaching in the scientific art field at the University of Michigan required me to be versatile in many scientific art techniques such as gouache, alkyd, acrylic, colored pencil, carbon dust, silver point, and pen and ink, and most of these techniques I use in my current trompe l'oeil paintings. My paintings are carefully designed, and I try and go beyond photographic appearances by adding contrast, adding to or eliminating details, making shadows more important, and by slightly changing the shapes and colors of my subject matter in order to enhance the design and quality of my paintings.
Gerald P. Hodge (American, born 1920, Denver, Colorado), received his Bachelor of Fine Art degree in painting from the University of Colorado, and completed his graduate work in medical art at Johns Hopkins University. He was the founder and principal teacher in the Master of Fine Arts program in medical and biological illustration at the University of Michigan, and he is Professor Emeritus at the School of Art, and Professor Emeritus of Medical Education at the Medical School. He has illustrated numerous books and hundreds of journal articles pertaining to medical and biological subjects. Several of his botanical paintings are in the collection of the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He has won several best-of-Show Awards at the meetings of the Association of Medical Illustrators.
He teaches trompe l'oeil painting at the Scottsdale Artists' School in Arizona. Previously he taught archaeological illustration for a semester at the University of Yarmouk in Irbid, Jordan, and was a visiting professor for fifteen years at the University of Toronto. He has given several workshops at the Smithsonian Institution and the New York Botanical Garden. Recently he has exhibited his trompe l'oeil paintings at the Klaudia Marr Gallery in Santa Fe, and the Eleanor Ettinger Gallery in New York City.