About Anthony

tony turpin picture

Anthony Turpin

Historians and critics have argued that "art" can be described but not defined. For that reason I have had difficulty finding the right words to express thoughts about my own work, thoughts that might convey a sense of what a painting means or what I might want a viewer to see. I believe the language of vision is essentially non- verbal, and for that reason it is hard to give substance to paragraphs that deal with my painting and sculpture. When asked to speak about my work I am always tempted to quote the line from T.S. Eliot's poem, Love song for J. Alfred Prufrock, " oh, do not ask what is it, let us go and make our visit." And, I think, that is the essential point...one must first SE--any response is based upon the viewer's interaction with the work, and that is a purely individual, subjective experience.

From my earliest recollection the landscape was a source of wonder, and various landscape artists were inspiration to me as I sought a direction in my work. Initially my quest was for control of media to make paintings of things as they are in nature --especially the wide expanses of the west and northwest. I was interested in illustrating those scenes primarily. In 1966, I began more formal studies at Art Center School in Los Angeles. My primary instructor there, Lorser Feitelson, introduced me to the world of the "moderns", and it was soon thereafter that I became fascinated with abstract expressionism and American art of the 20th Century. While I continued to be captivated by the "realists", I devoted much time to experiments with shape and form in purely non-objective compositions using a variety of materials mixing a wide range of media.

Impressionism and post-impressionism brought with it momentous surges in creativity, and at the same time shattered the conventions of a world long accustomed to representational imagery. I have been much influenced by the Cubist period of Braque and Picasso, the Dada movement and the Italian Futurists. I have worked in many genres and have been much influenced by minimal artists of the last few decades. My recent work in steel sculpture, cast and welded metal, and wood are new departures from paintings that were the focus of my work from 1968 to 1990. The genesis of much of this has roots in explorations I made years ago.

landscape of a lake and a forest

My History

Born: Chicago, Ill. 1938

Grammar school / High School, Southern California 1945 – 1956

University of Rome, Italy, 1958 - 1959

University of California, Berkeley, CA. - B.A. 1961

United States Navy, Active Service, 1961 - 1966

Art Center College of Design, Los Angeles, CA - 1966 -1967

United States Naval Air Reserve, 1968 – 1991 — (CAPT. USNR, Ret.)

Instructor in Art, Art Department Chair, Skagit Valley College, Whidbey Campus, 1970 - 1987; Chair, Graphic Arts, 1985-1987

Instructor, University of Washington, Department of Community Development, 1972 - 1977

Active in adult arts education organizations, 1969 to present

One-man shows in Washington and California, 1970 to 2013; Work included in public, private and corporate collections

Trustee 1992 – 1995, Museum of Northwest Art, La Conner, WA Artist in Residence, Oceania Cruise Lines, 2012, 2014

Active in community organizations since 1968 including Oak Harbor Multicultural Awareness Council; Island County Watershed Management Advisory Committee; Island County Marine Resources Advisory Committee; New Leaf, Inc. Oak Harbor, WA, Museum of Northwest Art, La Conner, WA

old house on the plains lake beside a forest

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