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About Duane

I was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, grew up in California, and have lived in New York City and Florence, Italy. My early influences were a high school art teacher, my mentor, named Robert Worthington, and Vincent Van Gogh. Both opened the door for me to see the creative life as a thread to the many domains that link achievement to humanity and the spiritual. Creating and experiencing art is crucial to developing cognitive and emotional, whole-brain, and whole human, capacity. As a studio painter I... more

Highways

The highway is etched into the collective conscious of the American culture. We love our cars and the road is, alternately, the venue for journey and the drudgery attached to routine commuting. Time spent on the road can be a distraction, a nuisance, or a window onto our sense of place in the landscape.

Even when most banal, the rhythm of movement through time and space creates drama. The highway provides an opportunity to paint the unseen, the unnoticed vista marred by the detritus of concrete and asphalt that attends to the world we see every day and rarely look at.

Earth

My foray into landscape began with construction imagery. Dirt - I had much hesitation about painting dirt. So many hues of brown, so many layers into the crust: I decided to face my fears and tackle it at the source.

Construction is a form of earth art, and coupled with engineering, becomes so much more than blight. On site the smell alone of so much organic matter ripped open and reformed is overwhelming at times. Dirt. It forced me into layering, thin on thick and thick over thin - no rules, just dirt.

Juxtaposing machinery on the landscape provided focus to the light as well as scale to the composition. Creating the foil of a lone tree or telephone pole forced me to look around and see, as well as sub-divide the composition. Construction imagery taught me painting and opened my eyes into looking.

Industry

Mills remain the dinosaurs of industry. Steel, wood, and food-processing mills remain an amalgamation of the hardware and paraphernalia, left in the wake of development, on the American landscape. Mills are the product and the decay of progress stamped on the terrain. The (often) abandoned monoliths of industry that modify an ecosystem and reflect the paradoxical relationship man has to his environment.

Heavy Vehicles

Corot painted women in landscape as a metaphor: woman is landscape. Our epoch calls for a renewed metaphor, vehicle is landscape. Heavy vehicles shape, move, and shift the landscape and contribute to the dilemma of co-existing with earth. I paint the forms and rhythms of metal, tires, and glass, structured by light, caked in dirt, and folded into landscape.

Landscapes

Painting is a process of renewal, of seeing with one’s own eyes. When it succeeds, you’ve managed to invite the audience into an intimate event where they too experience seeing as something fresh, as if for the first time.
I take great comfort in knowing that landscape painting is a link to art that rides a rail back thousands of years and that still resonates as a vehicle for developing a vision and speaking to a contemporary audience.

Figurative

The figure, the nude remains an on-going dilemma. Painting is the messy business of working, refining, destroying, and rediscovering. The layers of media reveal the depth of meaning. The tradition of narrative art is linked to the meaning-making capacity of the brain and the constructive understanding of the audience as it creates context and personal narratives.

Portraiture

Portraiture is the architecture of painting: everything has to be correct. You cannot fake a portrait, if the nose is wrong, it’s wrong. Portraiture embraces the paradox of linking the definitive to the indefinable, the rational to the emotional. It is the synthesis of opposites that are embedded in the soul. When Gertrude Stein first saw her 1906 portrait that Picasso painted she remarked that it didn’t look like her. Picasso replied: it will.

Aviation

My father, a Marine Corps fighter pilot, instilled in me a love of flying. I hold a current, FAA pilot license, am co-owner of a Piper Archer II, and have logged 500 hours. Painting and aviation are both portals into the zone. Both provide those moments when you loose track of time, you become fully engrossed in the act, and all you want is to be there all the time.

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Duane's Curated Collection

View Duane's favorite works from other Baker Artists