Artistic ability: nature or nurture? For local painter F.J. Anderson, it’s a combination of both.
“I was lucky to have some art genes in me,” offers Anderson, who grew up watching his older brother and grandmother create art. However, he’s quick to acknowledge the early influence of some strong art teachers, as well as a number of friends from childhood who were “always painting, drawing and making stuff. So I think it’s a learned trait, but if you have the genes for it, I guess it makes it easier to learn further.”
Another crucial factor in Anderson’s artistic development was the fact that he grew up near the ocean, which later became the dominant theme of his work. “We didn’t go to the playground very often—we just went to the beach!” he recalls with a laugh. “Growing up, that’s what you did: you go to the beach; you fish the waves.” In later years, he spent time as a junior lifeguard and surfer, at which point he absorbed more of the scenery that is now the foundation of his work.
Those who come to see F.J.’s art during Open Studios will get an eyeful of three different ongoing series. The first of these is comprised of larger-scale, first-person-perspective paintings of the ocean. The second series consists of Anderson’s depictions of the sky. “On the bottom, it’s a little bit of ocean and mostly clouds,” the artist says. Lastly, there’s a new series that showcases the more abstract style he has been exploring over the past year so. “It’s kind of long exposure of the ocean and swells coming in,” he offers. “It’s a little more simplified; it kind of dumbs it down to just the light and the colors.”
Anderson is interested to see how Open Studios regulars will react to these more abstract pieces. “For the most part, people seem to like it,” he states. “I might go a totally different direction next year. Who knows?” Asked what that new direction might look like, Anderson notes that he’s interested in exploring the potentials of ceramics and pastels.There are no photos with those IDs or post 2977 does not have any attached images!
Abstract paintings aside, F.J.’s latest display will feature plenty of realistic work not too far removed from the photos he uses as reference. “I’ve always gravitated toward realism,” notes the painter, who holds a B.A. in fine art and a Masters certificate in science illustration from UCSC.
Because oil takes a long time to dry, Anderson works on five or six paintings at a time. When painting seascapes, he often begins with the background and then moves on to the foreground. When creating an ocean scene, he works with several thin layers of paint. “That kind of helps it look like water,” he explains. “You wouldn’t really notice it, but it’s there.”
The success that Anderson has enjoyed as a painter doesn’t appear to have stopped him from cultivating what Zen Buddhists call “beginner’s mind”: an attitude of open-ended curiosity. “I’m still trying a lot of techniques out,” he says. “Every time I paint, I learn, ‘Oh, that worked,’ or, ‘That didn’t work out.’”
To see more of F.J.’s work, go to fjartwork.com.