Get to Know Clint

My Story...

CLoomisPagepicI was born in a small town outside of Chicago in 1949. My father was a newspaperman, my mother an opera singer. We moved into the heart of the city when I was in the fourth grade and stayed through my high school years. This move had a deep impact on my work as did the four years my sister and I lived in Europe while my mother was performing.

I attended Northern Illinois University from which I received both my Bachelor and Masters of Fine Arts Degrees. I was extremely fortunate to study for six years with one of America’s foremost painters, Robert Kabak.

In between undergraduate and graduate school, I received a grant at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, an artist colony, in Taos, New Mexico. I spent six months painting the landscape of the Southwest, overwhelmed by its beauty, and knowing that I would return to the Rocky Mountains as soon as an opportunity presented itself.

Upon graduating from N.I.U. in 1972, I moved west permanently – first to Idaho and then to Montana where I’ve lived and maintained a working studio for the past forty years. I have taught art in the public schools, for the adult community, and at the college level and have presented workshops for the State Teachers Association.

My Work . . .

autumn breezeMy work explores color and spatial relationships. A single painting may contain multiple views of an area, going from up close detail to vast distances. To me this is much like what occurs as people view their daily experiences. We focus on a detail and then look out more broadly over the richness of our environment.

Over the course of my 40-year career, I have often used individual panels within a work as a means of exploring spatial relationships. The relationship that follows establishes variations on a theme. I consider each view similar to a stanza of a poem – a thought imbedded in and supporting the integrity of the whole piece.

I acknowledge the rich historical influences of the Chinese scroll and screen painters, the Northern Renaissance artists and the artists of the late 19th and 20th Century.

Colors, the flow of lines, and the repetitive echo of shapes provide the formal transitions between the panels. It is interesting to find ways of merging different views within the paintings so as to leave the impression that of course, this is the natural way the scene would be viewed.

I began my career working with oil paints and doing a lot of intense black and white charcoal drawing, but since the 1980s have worked primarily with the mediums of water color, gouache, ink, pastels, and colored pencils. The paintings combine the materials through an extensive layering process (often ten or more thin layers) which allows the work to achieve its expressive richness.