John Modesitt: Colorado Impressionist Painter

   I had a desire to paint when I was 12 years old. At that time, I only had watercolors to work with and cheap paper. I had no reference material, only a Renoir poster my father purchased in Europe. He also had a Picasso print in a frame and one other print of a ship at sea. The ship painting fascinated me because it showed the texture of some thickly applied paint. I think that is the first impressions I had that led
to a strong desire to paint. I thought at the time that that must be fun to do.

  I spent many years studying all styles of painting, French Impressionism being the foundation for most of my work.

I progressed through some significant phases in my career as a painter. First were my training years in school and in museums. I was professionally introduced into oil painting by the late Robert Frame. My years in California put me in the middle of the California Impressionist resurgence. My work was widely appreciated and I was shown in several prestigious galleries. Auctions houses introduced my work into the secondary market as well. I eventually worked further into New Mexico. I painted western scenes in Taos, Santa Fe, and Canyon de Chelly.  Again, being successful did not satisfy my thirst to develop artistically.

My family moved out of California to an 8 acre ranch outside of Durango. With the San Juan Mountains at my backdoor, I am able to produce my impressionist paintings of Colorado.

I will always have a passion to work and paint in Europe, particularly France, but Colorado gives me that peace of mind and a relaxed environment to produce some of my finest work.


“I owe a debt of gratitude to all the artists that went before me”