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JOHN COMER Biography

John Comer was born in Washington, D.C. in 1948.  When he was five years old, his family moved to Southern California where John spent his days swimming and surfing in the Pacific.  He began painting at the age of 13 after receiving a box of paints for his birthday.  John attended Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa where he studied painting with Donna Sharkey and printmaking, etching, serigraphy, and drawing with Bruce Piner.  He continued his education in painting with Robert Frame at Santa Barbara City College in 1968 and studied printmaking with Stephen Cortwright and painting and drawing with Irma Cavat at the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1969.  

While quickly achieving success as a landscape artist in the Santa Barbara region, John pursued a second love, the sea, during the 1970’s.  Working as a commercial fisherman off the Channel Islands and sailing his boat Debonair in the Pacific and Caribbean gave John a great appreciation for atmosphere.  He says, I’ve seen a lot of weather, its almost like the landscape is secondary; the weather is the most important thing.  It affects what you see and don’t see--the colors and shapes.  

In 1985 John painted with Julian Ritter in Ritter’s studio on Maui, Hawaii and between 1992 and 1994, John worked with Ray Strong in Strong’s studio in Santa Barbara.  In the past few years, John’s work has been the subject of a number of important group and one man shows throughout California.  He actively exhibits at George Stern Fine Arts and with the Oak Group.  John’s paintings are widely sought after and appear in many important collections thoughout the world.  John Comer currently resides in Morro Bay with his wife Lesley and their son Reef.

Member:  California Art Club, Oak Group

     “Landscape painting for me is about light on the land and water.  The shadows reveal the forms and the forms are a record of the folding of mountains, the cutting of water, and the geological layers of time.  The painting is the record of the experience of the painter and the land, weather, and particular time. ‘Where it is...What it is’” J.C.