David Witbeck

David Witbeck

Although the Hudson River is tidal for over 150 miles, all the way to Troy, NY, a few miles from the suburb where I grew up, in the first 18 years of my life, I probably spent no more than three or four weeks, on family vacations, anywhere near salt water. Yet I always drew pictures of fishing boats, lighthouses and stormy seascapes and read every sea story I could find in the school library.

Having been a photographer for more than three decades, the greatest joy I have as a painter is freedom from “reality.” While subject matter is still important to me, I can bend, twist, stretch, exaggerate and simplify the things I see. I can put things in and leave things out. I can even completely make things up.

As a young art student, I took myself and art way too seriously. Having come back to painting relatively late in life, I now understand that few artists have anything earth-shaking to say. In the paraphrased words of the late Edgar Whitney, a respected art educator and watercolorist, an artist is a shape-maker, a symbol-finder and an entertainer. I still take my art seriously, but my serious intent is to create something that’s well designed and entertaining to look at.

 Here are a few examples of his work.