of the Month
George Allen DurkeeOil Demonstration
George Allen Durkee is the author of Expressive Oil Painting-An Open Air Approach to Creative Landscapes (North Light 2009) as well as two instructional videos. An academic underachiever and a troublemaker, George ran away from home at the age of 14 and lived in a neighborhood park. As a young man, he became interested in oil painting while working in an apple orchard near Yakima, WA.
Living far from any art school, George enrolled in a correspondence course and worked nights as a janitor while studying fine art with an emphasis in oil painting. After completing the course, he quit the night job to paint full time. As an emerging artist with little access to the world of upscale galleries, George loved painting outdoors in public as a way to market his work. In 1976 Durkee relocated to Eureka, CA, but found himself traveling frequently to larger towns in order to paint and sell his work. He moved to Portland, Oregon four years later. Too cold and wet to paint outdoors during the winter months, he began seasonal migrations to Southern California while living in his van. He eventuallly settled in San Francisco where he contracted with an art dealer who paid for the cost of picture frames and guaranteed his income. But George soon experienced differences with the dealer and struck off on his own. Painting in public for the next eighteen years, he developed an enthusiastic following for his San Francisco cityscapes.
In 2001, George moved to the foothills in the Sierras to paint landscapes. Durkee is a past contributor to The Artist’s Magazine and American Artist. Along with his artist wife, Sharon Strong, he is coowner of an art gallery in Murphys, CA.