Scott Moore creates artworks that touch viewers' psyches, resonate with memories of a long lost America, conjure up images by Norman Rockwell with hints of Salvador Dali and John Singer Sargent.
When I first saw his paintings, I wondered if he was channeling some aspect of Americana, perhaps a collective unconscious that dwells within our hearts and souls.
Scott Moore creates art from memories, fantasies and dreams through the lens of his childhood - in his Laguna Beach studio.
"I'm a painter who tells stories," he explains, "personal stories of my life and tales of things that I have observed (usually things that entertain me) from my childhood to the present. I was introverted as a child and often felt like a fly on the wall, noticing everything around me.
"All the little details of life (common objects, expressions, comfortable food, jokes etc.) were important to me," Scott Moore continues. "I always felt like the other kids didn't quite get what I was talking about, or at least, they weren't as interested in the details as I was. I didn't realize until later that there are a lot of people interested in the details of life. Knowing that, I felt comfortable documenting those details on paper and canvas.
"My father as an art director at an advertising agency was a big influence. He painted watercolors on the weekend, venturing off from our Bellflower, CA home to document pastoral scenes in Dairy Valley (Cerritos), or boats along the shore in Balboa or Long Beach. Watching him paint and having the materials around the house gave me the freedom to draw and express myself."
A Shy Kid
Being a shy kid, Scott Moore felt hesitant to draw in front of anyone, honing his skills on a table in his family room. "It wasn't until I was put on scholastic probation at Cal State Long Beach in 1968 (majoring in criminal law), that I realized I was fighting my gut instincts to be an artist, that the time had come to start my journey. In 1969, I took my first art classes, later majoring in graphic design at Cal State Long Beach.
"In 1978 and 1979, I showed my paintings in the Art-A-Fair Festival and in 1980 juried into the Festival of Arts, in Laguna Beach. My watercolors (and later oils) sold almost as fast as I painted them. In the late 1980's, I got up the nerve to finally tell stories through my work, but with an emphasis on the small details in the story.
Scale Out the Window
"I floated objects in the air, tossed scale out the window, and used all of the stored up information from my inhibited past to fill in all the blanks. I bought objects (toys, kitchen utensils, magazine ads) that always made me feel warm and fuzzy, and started jotting down my feelings about these things onto paper.
"Sometimes a title would surface, and my mind would start to build a story around it. Other times I'd put one of the objects in the sunlight and observe the cast shadow, which reminded me of some other object, many times larger than itself, telling me to relate the two and find something in my past that would help unite them on paper."
5 Most Important Themes
- Solitary moments in time
- The kitchen and food
- Historical moments
"Solitary moments in time is the most personal to me," Scott Moore says, "because I'm usually reflecting my past, passing time by myself in various circumstances.
"Travel didn't happen that much in our family since we had five kids, but when we packed into the car and went anywhere, it was always an adventure and fun.
"Hawaii will always be my favorite place, having returned almost every year since I left it as a Marine at the age of 22.
"Historical moments (like the recent recession, scams and Ponzi schemes) have always been fodder for artists to document, especially with a humorous slant." His 2009 painting [The Money Game] is a good example.
With Scott Moore paintings, what is really on display is the artist, his relationship with memories and objects, his experiences and fantasies from childhood. He is living his dream, telling stories through pictures, making a living with his art. In turn, he incites our own memories, fantasies and dreams.
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