My reasons for painting the landscape are first and foremost out of a deep emotional need to paint what moves me. Seeing a powerful scene isn't enough. I need to paint it to really be there, and in a way be done with it. But what attracts me to a subject in the first place are the formal elements---the dynamics of the composition, the textures, the shapes, the subtlety of colors and the polarities and rhythms of light and dark. It all adds up to being "of the place"---a connection that can't be explained except by painting it. It is important to me to accurately represent what I experience. I don't want to contrive a landscape so much as discover it.
There is no irony, no theory, no theme connected to most landscape painting, and certainly not mine. But there is a sort of austere seriousness, and a recognition of an essential, profound intelligence in our natural environment.
Roads appear frequently in my paintings, but never as a conscious symbol or metaphor. They help to define the contours of the landscape, and also serve to make the viewer feel present, and see through my eyes. They also make a statement about the presence of humanity in an otherwise uninhabited scene. I often combine both loose, painterly brushwork and a studied precise handling within the same painting, which directs the attention from the background to the foreground, and back again. However, in the end, to marvel at our presence in the world is the true subject of my paintings.
Bruce Everett’s landscapes in oil are characterized by bold and often dark compositional forms, dramatic effects of light, and a sense of solitude.The combination of both smooth and expressive brushwork within a single painting creates a visual intensity and lends truthfulness to the subject. In larger works of up to 10’ x 13’, viewers often feel their presence within the scene. Many of his studio paintings were done from photos he took while flying his ultralight airplane, giving the scenes an unusual viewpoint. In addition to his larger technically involved studio pieces, Everett often does smaller more immediate plein air paintings to study and capture the transitory effects of light and weather, and to experience a location more directly.
Bruce was born in Los Angeles but raised in the Midwest just north of Chicago. Being an only child, free to play on the bluffs and in the wooded ravines along the shore of Lake Michigan, most certainly contributed to his becoming a landscape painter.
Although showing early artistic ability, he didn’t start painting until college. He received a Masters in Art from the University of Iowa, and a Master of Fine Arts in Painting from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He taught briefly at the University of Washington, Seattle. He then became a Professor of Art at California State University, Northridge from 1970 until retiring in 2005.
Bruce has had a successful career as a painter for more than forty five years. He has had many one-man shows, including in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. His work has been exhibited in museums and galleries in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California, Oregon, Seattle, New York, Connecticut and Texas. He is also included in numerous books, exhibition catalogs, and publications on Photorealism and landscape painting. His paintings are in many public, private and corporate collections.