Distinguished Artist Series
Paul Strisik, N.A. (1918 - 1998)
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Paul Strisik first discovered his love for the arts during a visit to a local museum with his father. Strisik vividly remembered the copyists who stood in front of the masterpieces and rendered their own versions. "I thought having a painting-set like that with the smell of turpentine and all those shiny tubes was the greatest thing in the world," he said. However, it was many years before he gathered up the courage to try it for himself. (left: Rogue Cove, Maine, oil, 12 x 16 inches)
In 1942, Strisik enlisted in the Navy as a photographer. Taking pictures of the European countryside stimulated his pictorial senses and, after the war, he was ready to give art a try. He began taking classes at the Art Students League in New York where he studied under the renowned painter, Frank Vincent Dumond. According to Strisik, "what Dumond did was not teach you painting, but oriented your mind to think like a painter."
Dumond's lessons became a part of Strisik's mind, and he still used them while painting on location at one of his two homes. His home base in Rockport, Massachusetts allowed him to spend the summer months painting the rugged eastern coastline. His winters were spent in Santa Fe at the home he purchased in 1976.
left to right: Nambe Meadows, oil, 10 x 20 inches; Hilltop Adobe, Nambe, oil, 16 x 20 inches; High Road, Taos, oil, 12 x 16 inches; Chimayo Garden, oil, 16 x 20 inches
Strisik explained his affinity for the Southwest: "In the East, the sky is right over your head, and by comparison to the Southwest the Eastern sky is not very exciting. In New Mexico the cloud formations are wonderful. The sky goes up forever and you can see in every direction. The one thing that struck me in the Southwest was space. Growing up in New England, where there's an end to everything, I couldn't get over the endless space in every direction and the light."
Strisik considered himself primarily a landscape painter who would search out exotic locations at which to paint field sketches. He considered these outdoor sketches important in order to capture the feel and tonalities of a place, but it was inside the studio that his larger works were created. (right: A Hopeful Dream, Vermont, oil, 12 x 16)
Paul Strisik was a member of the National Academy of Design, the National Academy of Western Art, the American Watercolor Society, and the Allied Artists of America, among others. His work can be found in the collections of the Peabody Museum in Salem, MA, the Percy H. Whitney Museum of Art in Fairhope, AL, the Parrish Museum of Art in Southampton, NY, and the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, CT. He had numerous one-man shows, was included in national exhibitions, and was awarded over 140 awards, including 19 medals. Strisik's knowledge and experience has been put into his book: The Art of Landscape Painting, published by Watson and Guptil Publications. (left: Still Life with Apples, oil, 8 x 16 inches)
Published 10/99. Text and images courtesy of Nedra Matteucci Galleries, www.matteucci.com, 1075 Paseo de Peralta, Santa Fe, NM 87501 Tel. 505-982-4631.
Please also see our article concerning the Rockport Art Association exhibit of this artist's work.
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