John Bryan Cliff (2020)
I am a Ph.D. chemist-turned-artist. Having worked as a scientist in a national research laboratory for decades, with my kids all grown up and left home, in 2019 I decided to become a “full time” oil painter, to pursue my artist’s dream I had ever since my childhood. This year (2021) I became a member of Oil Painters of America , with one of my recent paintings accepted for OPA 2021 Salon Show.
My earlier progress in art owes thanks to Professor Cheng-Khee Chee at University of Minnesota-Duluth, who taught me watercolor in private many years ago. Although I later switched to oil painting because it is more mistake forgiving, his teaching has long lasting effects to my oil painting techniques.
I firmly believe in what a famous Chinese painter once said: the beauty of painting lies between the like and the not-like. In his opinion, too lifelike is fawning, while totally not-like is deceiving. I am continuously exploring painting techniques in accord with this maxim, although on the other hand I also admire artists who can make hyper-realism or abstract artworks.
In the full spectrum between the hyper-realism at one end and the abstract at the other, lies a variety of painting styles, from very tight and realistic to rather loose and not objective painting. I position myself as a realist painter with an abstract style of brushstrokes. My painting subjects are scenes from ordinary everyday-life. Among other means to enhance the beauty of the subject, abstract brushstroke is employed to add more interesting elements to the painting.