Artist Sheldon Greenberg shares a portfolio of dynamic paintings that explore relationships, memories and perception. Visit his website to see more of his work.
I started making art as a kid while growing up in Kansas, and I haven’t stopped.
My father owned a plumbing company. One day he asked me to go with him to work and hang out for the day. Once I got there, I spent my time in the back of the warehouse drawing the endless amount of pipe fixtures that were on the shelves. I was fascinated by all of the shapes and sizes of the objects that lay around in their bins.
That experience really solidified my love of drawing.
Back when they sold TV Guide, a publication that listed all of the television shows for that week, there was a page in the back where you were asked to draw an image they printed. You sent in the image to the address they included for a chance attend an art school. I drew the picture and sent it in. Sometime after, a man showed up at our house to talk about an art school. I don’t remember which art school, but I knew from that point on that my path in life was to be an artist.
I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design/Illustration from San Jose State University and a Master’s in Fine Art from California College of the Arts. I have lived in California, Washington D.C. and New York City. During my time in Washington D.C. and New York, I had the opportunity to work with designers, advertising agencies, book publishers, The Washington Post and The New York Times doing illustrations.
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After many years of painting and illustrating what other people told me to paint, I felt I needed to find my own artistic voice. I eventually left my illustration career and made my way back to California, where I reinvented myself as a fine artist working with various galleries.
I find the California landscape of water and palm trees, mid-century architecture and the relationship between nature and man-made forms interesting—this inspires my art.
I have been influenced by Joseph Albers’ color theories, Wayne Thiebaud’s use of color contrasts and saturation, James Rosenquist’s use of layering images and spatial play, Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg’s use of screen prints and Roy Lichtenstein’s use of dot pattern and cartoon imagery.
Besides making my own art, I am also an instructor at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. For the last twenty years, I’ve been teaching a wide variety of subjects, such as color theory, figure painting, abstraction and mixed media.
In my work, I use a wide variety of techniques including screen printing, drawing, collage, acrylic and oil paint on paper, panel and canvas. Ultimately, my focus is on contrasts, abstraction/realism, male/female, line/form, the actual and the perceived.
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