California Hills 1
Medium:Oil on Canvas
Height: 78 in
Width: 118 in
Stormy landscape with an area of blue sky showing through gray storm clouds. Green ground.
Stephen Duren attended the San Francisco Art Institute in the 1970s but skipped many of his studio classes in favor of working outside, directly from nature. During these periods of pleinair painting he absorbed countless textures and patterns from the landscape, including that particular quality of light that is unique to California. This visual vocabulary became the foundation for his painting, as he moved from realism to abstraction. He was inspired by numerous European artists from the 1800s, including Constable, Corot, Corbet, Sisley, Van Gogh and Monet. Much of his work remains semi-abstract, but Duren is often pulled away from his studio by a call he has answered since his youth to paint directly from nature.