Amazingly detailed and brilliant, artist Alan Feldmesser’s oil paintings of marine creatures almost seem to swim off the canvas. View more of his beautiful artwork by visiting his website.
My path as an artist and my creations has always been about realism. There is something so beautiful about our world—that moment when light and color collide perfectly—stopping us in our tracks. This is what my art is all about.
I have created art since I was a little boy. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of transforming a two dimensional surface into the illusion of a three dimensional space. As a teenager I found the human form, especially the face, to be a great subject for this.
Using graphite as my main medium, I drew to transform the paper into the texture and softness of human skin. To bring this to a higher level, I used facial expressions to incorporate emotion into my drawings. With these pieces I was accepted into many art schools, eventually deciding on Syracuse University.
There I had the privilege of studying under artists like illustrator Murray Tinkleman, and American figurative artist Jerome Witkin, both of whom greatly influenced and inspired me.
After graduating from Syracuse University with a BFA in Painting, I did an apprenticeship with world-renowned portrait painter RW Cowan. Under his tutelage, I learned the intricacies of color theory, technique and application processes.
I consider this time to be my Masters degree, as my knowledge level grew so much during this two-year span. After opening my own portrait studio, I spent countless hours refining my techniques and skills and had the honor and privilege of creating paintings for Bob Marley’s family, Carlos Santana and many affluent patrons in South Florida.
In my mid-twenties, my life took a turn. I taught drawing to tenth graders at one of the top Magnate Programs for the Arts in Florida. I literally had no idea where to begin, so I took the processes I practiced and simplified them so I could convey them to my students.
To my surprise, the students flourished under my teaching, and it became just as rewarding to me as creating art. My career continued on with teaching at a very prestigious private school in South Florida. For me, the only negative aspect of teaching full-time was that it slowed my own creative process. I didn’t paint at all for about four years.
Along the way, I discovered the world of scuba. The minute I took my first breath underwater, I was hooked! The weightlessness, the quiet, the way light refracted on things—my list of loves became endless.
The interactions with certain marine species became life changing to the point that I wanted to recreate my dive experiences in oil paint. With this new passion, I found that although I hadn’t painted for quite some time, teaching had actually made me a much better artist than I was previously.
I am able to explore this subject matter in this medium with so much more confidence than before. I have not looked back since.
I teach privately, dive as much as possible and take my inspiration from the ocean to the studio as often as I possibly can.
My wish is to bring the wonder, beauty and complexity of the ocean to the canvas—inspiring the viewer to understand this amazing habitat and its importance to our own survival.