I am a San Francisco-based artist, originally from London, specializing in digital painting. I work with, and across, multiple media, blending digital with traditional. I perform live painting at events, teach digital and traditional painting, and create customized commissioned art.
In my mixed media artworks I combine the spontaneity, power and versatility of digital art tools with the beauty, quality and texture of traditional media, inspired by the masterful use of color of artists like Claude Monet and Henri Matisse; by the fearless intensity of experimentation and the simplicity of line of of Pablo Picasso; by the expressive brush work of Vincent van Gogh, John Singer Sargent and Joaquin Sorolla; the strong tonal values of Rembrandt; and by the colorful joie de vivre of LeRoy Neiman. Behind all my paintings lies a passion for drawing.
I studied life drawing, sculpture and etching at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford, U.K., while earning a degree in Physics from Pembroke College, Oxford University. I then studied lithography and life drawing at De Vrije Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten, The Hague, The Netherlands, before moving to the heart of Silicon Valley, California, in 1988. I was first introduced to using the computer as a fine art tool in 1991, and have been exploring the digital art medium ever since, using, teaching, demonstrating and performing with every version of Painter from version 1 onwards (writing the Painter Creativity series of books). After a career selling superconducting magnets for Physics research, I became a full time professional artist in 1994.
In 2011 I was commissioned to paint a large Heart for the San Francisco General Hospital’s Hearts in San Francisco program. It was subsequently purchased by Visa Corporation and placed on Union Square in the center of San Francisco. I have performed live event action painting as a tableau vivant at the de Young and Legion of Honor Museums (creating studio tableaus and portraying the historical artists Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse) and performed live digital painting for Cirque du Soleil at the TOTEM show in their Tapis Rouge tent in San Francisco. I was the featured iPad artist at the opening of the epic David Hockney “Bigger Exhibition” in the de Young Museum, 2012, and at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s “America Now! Innovation in Art” event in Washington D.C., 2015.
Photo by Shalom Gibly © 2014