About the Artist

Interested in art as a child, Bruce Cheever embarked on a career as a fine artist after spending many years as an illustrator. It was during those years that he discovered his affinity for tonalism and luminism. Bruce's atmospheric and bucolic landscapes are suggestive of the Renaissance era. His passion for the landscape is driven by the never-ending search for beauty.

Today, Bruce's studio paintings take shape from the inspiration he gathers from his travels. Whether painting a rural scene in the American West, or a pastoral European landscape, his painting style is emerging with a uniqueness of its own. Born in 1958, this Utah artist credits his education at Brigham Young University and a professional career as an illustrator as prime training ground in both observation and discipline. Bruce has had the opportunity to travel to many parts of the world capturing the beauty of the landscape in his paintings.  His love of the Western American Landscape has been a hallmark of his success.

Bruce exhibits at many invitational shows around the country, including showcases with Trailside Galleries in Jackson Wyoming and Scottsdale Arizona. He also participates in exhibitions with Settlers West Gallery in Tucson Arizona. Bruce has been honored to exhibit with the prestigious “Masters of the American West” show at the Autry Museum in Los Angeles CA., and “Arts for the Parks”, where he was included in the top 100 winners. Bruce also exhibits at the Jackson Hole Art Auction, Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa Oklahoma, CM Russell Auction, Altermann Galleries and Auction, and in the annual “Quest for the West Show”, held at the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis, Indiana. His work has been featured in “Art of the West”, “Southwest Art”, “American Art Collector” and “Western Art Collector”. 

He is represented by Trailside Galleries in Jackson Wyoming and Scottsdale Arizona.

Artist Statement

Art is a visual language, and as an artist, my hope is that my work is not just paint on a board, but rather a combination of inspiration, emotion and skill that combines to inspire the human soul.

As primarily a landscape painter, I strive to evoke emotion in the spirit of those who view my work and to give them a sense of place in the landscape.  My hope is that I can touch the chords of nostalgia and beauty that lie within each of us, and further hope to inspire others to pay attention to the simple beauties of life. 

Art is a confluence of inspiration and skill, which is why I consciously use harmony, balance, repetition, and spontaneity as the anchors of my compositions.  Each work is carefully planned using age-old proportions of the golden mean and other mathematical divisions.  My passion to create art is also driven by shape, color and movement as well as the subject matter that inspires me.

I draw inspiration from what I love the most: impressionism, tonalism, luminism and realism.  I admire each element for its own individual merit.  When I choose a subject to render, it is the result of having had a personal connection with a certain place or thing in my life.  My paintings are a reflection of my life's experiences, each painting becomes a part of me and I become a part of it; you could say that I adopt it.  My aim is to give my very best mental and emotional effort to my art.

I have an enormous respect for many great artists who have influenced and shaped the world for good through their artistic contributions.  Thomas Moran, George Innes, Andrew Wyeth, Maxfield Parish, and many Renaissance artist of the past such as Michelangelo are among my favorites.  My wife and family, as well as my parents have given me invaluable support over the years and I credit them for their encouragement along the way.  My teachers and contemporaries have been great sources of inspiration and I have learned invaluable lessons not to be forgotten.

My hope is to inspire others through my art and to participate in reminding mankind that the world can be good if we consciously take the time to appreciate what is around us.  I am inspired by the ordinary and moved by the extraordinary and feel that both are equal in beauty if careful attention is given to both.  I thank God for his gifts to me, and the ability to share them with others.  I simply believe that we are all given glimpses of divinity to sooth our souls, and that each of us is given gifts to share with one another.

Thoughts on the Process of Creating Art

My artistic style and approach comes from a combination of personal observation, imagination, and life experiences.  Artistic approach is like a personal signature; each is different in its own unique way.  I believe art is a process of discipline, freedom and skill gained through application.  Even with the best planning, art is a creative process and magic happens along the way.  My goal is to inspire others who view my work, I want each piece of art I create to have considerable depth and meaning which can be appreciated by those who know very little about art as well as those who admire the arts the most.

As a landscape painter I work on baltic birch panel, which is very tight-grained wood, it is an excellent surface on which I adhere linen or muslin covered by multiple coats of gesso with a marble dust base.  This surface sands very well and creates an excellent stable base for longevity.  I block in predetermined colors to set the tone for each painting that I do, after-which I begin the composition process.

The image sizes for my works are determined by using mathematical formulas so that even the mere shape can elicit an emotional response from the viewer.  I use ratios of the Golden Mean and root divisions along with other mathematical divisions to help organize the elements of the subjects within the space,  the object is to create optimal harmony, balance and repetition.  Along with careful planning I also allow each area of work to have its own spirit of freedom and spontaneity.  I take great care in drawing a grid system for each painting and sketching the composition within that grid.  The Greeks and Renaissance artists used these methods including proportions of the golden Mean to give the sense of a perfect proportion and balance.

My work is completed in a series of layers and glazes, each is meant to help tell the final story, and upon completion of a piece, one can view the process by seeing the paint of each layer.  Even faint hints of the drawing process can be seen as well as the block in washes all the way up to the thicker surface layers and highlights.  All this is done deliberately and with the purpose to let the viewer see a glimpse of the process.  For me, the process is where the excitement and energy comes from and I want the viewer to experience it as well.  By glazing thin layers of paint I take advantage of the chemistry and beauty of oil paint.  Renaissance painters used these techniques in their work.  The theory of luminosity is that when light penetrates through the layers and is reflected back from a lighter interior surface it creates a feeling of light coming from within.

The application of my paint is very deliberate; it is a balance of thick and thin, light and dark, warm and cool, I let my brushstrokes accomplish the equivalent of telling a story.  I work both up and down which means light over dark and dark over light.  Shape making within my work is a key factor in the design and most of the movement within my work is achieved by pulling the brush slowly in order to create strokes that appear to be made quickly.  Other areas in my work are simpler and they tend to let the eye rest while traveling through the work.

To sum up the process, I would describe it as a combination of tonalism, lumanism, and impressionism, with the ultimate goal of creating a lasting work of beauty.  I use the best materials that I can find because I want the work to last for generations to come.  Each painting is coated with a Dammar Varnish, which is a time honored way of bringing out the richness of the colors and the beauty of the pigment.

© Bruce Cheever