John Schmidtberger, photo courtesy of the artist
BORN: April 12, 1961, New York City, NY
I search for places, people, and situations that I find compelling, spending a great deal of time just looking. When I finally find what I'm looking for, I feel it like a physical sensation- an "a-ha!" experience. Then I paint or draw the subject as quickly and directly as possible, in order to describe my experience. I am not interested in the details. Instead I ask, "What is the gesture? What is the rhythm? What is the light doing? What is the mood? What is the essence of this painting?"
John Schmidtberger is primarily a landscape painter, focusing on the scenery of Bucks County and the coastline of Penobscot Bay, Maine, where he spends his summers. John is dedicated to painting in plein-air style, attempting to capture the mood of a scene through rapid execution. He is also acclaimed for his decorative art and children's portraiture, which Fine Art Connoisseur has praised for combining a "spontaneous response to landscape" with "sensitive renderings of the figure". He was educated at the University of Pennsylvania, studying under painter Neil Welliver and receiving his BFA in 1985 and his MFA two years later, in 1987. From 1987 until 1996 he taught drawing, design, and painting at Philadelphia University, Drexel University, Temple Universtiy, the Community College of Philadelphia, and the University of Pennsylvania. His work has been widely exhibited both locally and in New York and Philadelphia at such places as the James A. Michener Museum, Doylestown, PA, the Prince Street Gallery, New York, NY, Elan Fine Arts, Rockland, ME, Camden Falls Gallery, Camden, ME, and the Quiet Life, Lambertville, NJ and has been reviewed by the Philadelphia Inquirer and New York Times. He and his wife, fellow painter Corinne Lalin, have lived with their family in Upper Black Eddy, PA since 1987.