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David Skinner

Booth Number: TBD

Pacific Palisades,  FL


Artist Statement:
As I consider the artistic path I’ve traveled for more than thirty years, I suppose it really began with a damp ball of clay in my high school ceramics class. Up until then I had been a kid who mostly liked to draw hot rod cars and superheroes and, of course, images of the band Kiss. But through ceramics I discovered a love of form and color and the tactile experience of making art that has stayed with me to this day.

After graduation from high school in 1982, I entered the University of California at Santa Barbara as a ceramics major, and immediately embraced the vibrant pulse of the art department. I was thrilled by this new world of ideas as it was far outside the limited discourse of my high school ceramics department. I saw graduate students exploring abstract forms that had nothing to do with functionality, but their work was layered with eccentric glazes and asymmetry. I listened to professors expound on the meditative process of pinch pots and other obscure notions. I was hooked.

Part of the curriculum for art students was to take classes in studio practices outside of our chosen field, which led me to the painting department. As much as I loved ceramics, the immediacy of painting and drawing and the freedom to express ideas through simple mark making really intrigued me. As my interest grew, I explored all genres, from geometric abstraction to figurative expressionism, and eventually abandoned the ceramics department in favor of paint. At my graduation exhibition in 1986, I was given the prestigious William Dole award for excellence in painting, and thus my course was set.

Since then I have traveled extensively throughout India and Southeast Asia, lived in New York for ten years, and recently spent two years at the Burren College of Art in Ballyvaughan, Ireland, on a painting residency. I have experimented with different imagery in my painting, but for the last fifteen years have been primarily focused on the landscape as my subject matter. I find the landscape to be a wonderful vehicle through which to explore color and gesture and the effects of light.

I’m trying to define my own style within the genre and to push the boundaries of color and composition. I work hard to keep my brushwork loose yet representational and to build up a rich layer of paint on the canvas or paper. Each painting begins with a conceived direction but then becomes transformed as I let certain marks and colors lead me along until a harmonious end is achieved. The process of transformation is what keeps my creativity fueled. As much as I think I know about painting, I’m still learning and keeping my eyes open to new inspiration along the way.