John Modesitt (b. 1955) was born in Los Alamos, New Mexico on November 6, 1955, but he spent most of his early years in southern California. He started painting at the age of thirteen. My fatherís poster collection of French Impressionist Paintings were my initial inspiration to paint and draw. Monet was my favorite, I knew even then that painting would be my lifeís work. Modesitt attended a number a of institutions of higher learning in California, including Santa Barbara City College, the Santa Barbara Art Museum and Cabrillo City College in Santa Cruz.
Modesitt moved to New York City in 1980 to study art more seriously. He was engaged in formal study at the Metropolitan Museum of Art from 1981 until 1984. For the most part he was discouraged by the domination of modern art in the galleries and with the instruction given which was a non-disciplined approach to painting. Modesitt decided to advance his techniques and aesthetic by studying the works of the master painters which lined the walls of the Metropolitan.
Modesitt moved to Midwest for a brief period of enrollment at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the fall of 1985. He had previously traveled widely in the area sketching and painting. As in New York Modesitt again spent his time studying the collection of the Art Institute, especially the renowned paintings of such French masters as Manet, Monet, Pissarro and Renoir. In addition to painting outdoors on the Fox River, he also found time to offer a class in plein air painting.
Modesitt returned to California in the early 1990ís and established a home and studio in Solana Beach. Here he began to paint en plein air the many facets of the California vista: coastals, the Sierra Nevada Mountains, desert scenes and the San Diego foothills alive with meadows of blooming flowers. In 1999 Modesitt and his family established a summer residence in the small village of Griselles in the Burgundy countryside. It is a place of tranquility with no more than twenty inhabitants which has inspired the artist to produce a portfolio of distinguished paintings.
John Modesitt emerged from a new wave of California Impressionists who paint in the style of Payne, Rose and Braun. Like these early masters Modesitt paints what he feels about nature and translates his emotional and spiritual experiences into rhythmic color compositions on canvas.
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