Bruce, a devout Catholic, is an artist who deeply appreciates the beauty he sees in God’s created world. Bruce was born in 1951, and he remembers that as a child he could draw quite well. Although he never was encouraged to pursue art as a youth, he always loved to contemplate the colors, atmosphere and light of the rural terrain of western Washington State where he grew up. In high school he enjoyed art class and got high marks for drawing but was more interested in and distracted by sports than art.
In 1970, Bruce pursued a career in baseball by attending the notable baseball school, Yakima Valley College, in Washington State. His focus changed after injuring his throwing arm and rotator cup. He then realized that he really was an artist, not a baseball player. At Yakima Valley he majored in art and learned the basics in design, watercolor and abstract oil painting. Bruce quickly became disenchanted with the liberal abstract influence which predominated his instruction. His beliefs then as now were that the liberal movement in art influenced society in a directly harmful, immoral and sinful way. This refers to art that depicts nudity, homosexuality and the Blessed Mother or Jesus Christ in a mocking or disgusting manner. The more society moved away from belief in the Catholic and one, true God, the more it reflected that deplorable state in the arts. Bruce strongly feels that his artistic inspiration derives from the Catholic God and his Catholic faith; and this is what makes his art true, pure and good. His personal desire is to produce art that first glorifies God, and secondly gives the viewer of his art a feeling of wonder, goodness and peace thereby enhancing the viewer’s appreciation of his Creator. He realizes this is a tall order; but with his perfectionist nature he sees nothing in life that he would rather do, with the exception of his major priority in life, that of saving his own soul. Bruce believes that the beauty we see here in the created world, God will also include in the new heaven and new earth along with things no eyes nor ears have seen or heard. No artist can imagine a painting so beautiful.
Despite the comment from professors in college that art cannot be considered a serious career, Bruce set out on his own to study the masters whose works inspired him. Those artists were Moran, Inness, Homer, Constable, the Barbizon and Hudson River Schools. He traveled to the major art museums throughout the country taking many sketching and photo gathering trips. Many American and California Impressionists and other talented contemporary artists have influenced Bruce’s painting style.
After college, Bruce and his wife settled in the beautiful southwest corner of Colorado, east of Durango. Although Bruce’s painting career began with watercolor, he quickly changed to oil realizing he could achieve more depth, texture and vibrant color with oil. He considers himself an impressionistic-realist. Bruce is primarily a landscapist but also enjoys painting still-life, wildlife and Catholic religious art. He loves the western and especially the southwestern landscape which give him exuberant color and light contrasts. The powerful designs of mountainous terrain, as well as agricultural and domestic rural scenes, provide a wealth of subject matter he says he will never tire of. He works in the alla prima (all at once) method, finding outdoor sessions very useful in training himself to simplify. He may go back to the same spot several times or take photos to bring back to the studio for composition and detail information to assist the completion of major pieces.
Bruce’s work has received a positive response from local Durango and Colorado galleries. His work has also shown in Denver, Aspen, Seattle, Santa Fe, Taos, Albuquerque, Jackson Hole, Scottsdale and San Francisco. He was recently accepted to the 2008 Paint the Parks 100 Exhibition and has participated in the 2003 12th Annual National Oil Painter’s of America Juried Exhibition in Taos, New Mexico; the 2007 Oil Painter’s of America Central Regional Juried Exhibition in Topeka, Kansas; the Salon International 2005 Juried Exhibition in San Antonio, Texas; the Allied Artist of America show in New York; the C.M. Russell Auction and Invitational show in Montana; the Sangre de Cristo Art show in Colorado where he won the $5,000 Grand Prize in 1993; the National Western Art show; and the Art Awards show in Washington State. Bruce’s paintings are in private collections throughout the United States.