Artist Profile

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Corazon Guzman-Thornton

Petaluma, California

I am a classical still life oil painter using traditional methods of painting. Having some chemistry background I am inclined to study materials and paints from an inquisitive standpoint, such as calling the paint company to understand how different formulas mix and how it would work in painting. My finance background has greatly contributed to my obsession for precise and detailed work.

My process starts with a rendering of my subject, which I transfer to a canvas or board. From that I work starting with a grisaille to lay in my foundation, working on values, light and shadow. Layers of thin (lean) and thick (fat) colors are worked on for days, weeks and months.

My current portfolio of work is on ordinary objects that we take for granted in our daily lives. When I see an object, I am intrigued by the uniqueness of certain elements that I observe at that particular moment in time, such as the luscious ripening color of a fruit, the morning dew drops on leaves, or the mere play of light and shadow on a simple object. Nature has gifted us with uniqueness and beauty. Anything that Mother Nature has created is art, from simple lines and shapes to more ornate and abstract forms. My goal is to capture this dramatic uniqueness so that my viewers view the ordinary as something much more extraordinary.

"Art is not what you see but what you make others see."
Edgar Degas

MY STORY

The short version:

I replaced my HP12C finance calculator with an easel and paintbrushes.

The long version:

Unlike most artists, my background is very far from art. I grew up in an academic Philippine family where my childhood schooling was focused on math and science, with no art. As an adult, I spent years in the corporate world as a business and financial professional serving the design industry, i.e. architects and interior designers. Subconsciously, I seemed to have gravitated towards creative people whose talents I truly admired and envied. Although I always had a solid appreciation for good design, harmony and colors, I had never imagined being involved in anything artistic nor creative on my own. Going to museums and marrying an architect was the closest I personally got to art.

In my late forties, I had to give up my career due to health reasons. I dabbled in hobbies for the next 10 years to distract me from my health issues, but with physical limitations the choices are small. Four years ago as I turned 60 and with no expectations, I signed up for a 1-day Introductory Drawing class at our local community college. It was obvious from the outset that the right side of my brain had never been used but the challenge motivated me to try to learn more. I signed up for an introductory painting class and needless to say, was officially bitten by the art bug.

I am now in my fourth year of this journey and I love it! My training has come from hours of self-studying art books from the library, Amazon and You Tube videos. My right brain is now awakened and it’s trying to make up for lost childhood - and like a child in a candy store, I am excited to continue to create and learn. Master still life artists I study include Jan van Huysum, Jacob van Husdonck, Balthasar van der Arst, William M. Harnett, John Peto, Raphaelle Peale, Juan Sanchez Cotan, and Francisco de Zurbaran. With my late start in art, I naturally idolize Grandma Moses.


MY INSPIRATION

Objects. Colors. Life. I am enticed by everything around me. I cannot wait for sunrise to get up and paint.


OTHER BORING INFORMATION ABOUT ME

EDUCATION:

MBA, Dominican University of California
Exec. Management Program, Advanced Management College - Stanford University
B.S. Commerce, Accounting Major, Holy Angel University
Undergraduate major in Chemistry (non-degreed), College of the Holy Spirit

My Artwork

Silver bowl with lid, me, orange, shell and sake cup

Corazon Guzman-Thornton