Ian L. Clark has made the Vail Valley his home for the past 17 years. He initially moved here for the lifestyle that the valley has provided; however in his years of getting acquainted with natural environment he has found a deeper appreciation for this area. In his paintings he has attempted to capture this beauty and feeling of awe that is experienced here. He would like to be able to share his work and appreciation for what this area has to offer as well as other places and journeys with other people.
Ian’s background in art has been a life long endeavor. Art for him has come full circle. He is a Plein Air artist. “I want to be known as an artist, somebody who is known as a painter that would be my dream. As an artist, I want to evoke a certain emotion with the viewer. Hopefully that emotion brings the viewer closer to the painting. The brushstrokes, color and texture all represent this certain emotion. Ian’s family all come from art backgrounds; his brother a painter and restaurant designer, his father a graphic designer, his sister an interior decorator and most of all a lot of Ian’s talent and hard work comes from his mother who is very talented in many facets, who owns a fine art gallery and framing store, called “I’ve Been Framed” which she expends most of her talent on.
In 2005, Ian Clark won a National Merit Award at the Steamboat Art Competition. He continues to strive with his art by attending juried events and art shows whenever he can. Ian was accepted into the Estes Park Plein Air 2008 painting competition and exhibition and took a 3rd place merit award. Ian does private commissions, sells his Art in Texas, Michigan, and Colorado and is collected by many. “Painting is all about doing your homework. Lots of starts lead to better and bigger things. Ian works hard to constantly open up new doors in terms of how to express his work. His technical boundaries are always being tested by working with other masters. It is rustic yet contemporary says the artist. The paint looks fresh and alive and I am most concerned with capturing the light on location.”
Ian Clark has made the move towards becoming professional artist several years ago. I have donated to the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival and the Music at Angel Fire festival as well to support the arts. While going to school in Vermont was a good experience it did nothing for his painting until he met Don Sahli, a noted American painter and Ovanes Berbarian as well as several other influences. It was what these guys were doing that blew him away. It opened up a new world of seeing. It was the Russian school of art and studying with Don Sahli that triggered this craving. Don was taught by a famous Russian, named Sergei Bongart, who was also taught by a famous Russian and so on and so forth. Basically, the Russian art rivaled the French. These guys were trained by the best who handed down those techniques to the next guy and so on. The result is a marriage of over a combined hundred plus years of experience. It is like making good wine.
Painting in Plein Air is what its all about. It never gets old or dull. There are endless things to paint, the hard part is how to express it in terms of painting. It is this passion that the Russian Impressionists excelled in. It is not about making a photo out of a painting but rather how you express it to make it come alive and excite you.