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Episode 22-Stan Moeller

"Car Wash-Havana"

Born in 1952, Stan Moeller was raised in rural, northern Indiana within sight of the Michigan border, in the small town of Scott, population 50. Stan excelled in art, drawing and modeling clay from an early age and he went on to major in art at Western Michigan University. Studying art at the university level in the 1970s — a time when abstract expressionism was the fashion, it was difficult to find traditional art instruction, but Stan took as many life-drawing classes as he could. One instructor, a portrait painter from NYC, told him, “If you really want to be an artist, get out of here (college) and go paint.” To this day, Stan believes it is the very act of painting that is the best instructor, to paraphrase one of his heroes, the Spanish painter, Joaquín Sorolla y Basstida.

Helping to pay the bills in college, Stan performed music in clubs and coffee houses as a singer-songwriter and took a break from painting to pursue a music career. He released a solo album in 1981, which was reissued decades later and distributed in South Korea and Japan. He toured extensively in the U.S., releasing three CDs during the 1990s in partnership with his musician-wife, Tammy. Painting was always a big part of Stan’s life and about 18 years ago he quit playing music professionally and devoted himself full-time to painting.

In the mid-1990’s, Stan traveled out to paint on Monhegan Island, where he met resident artist (and musician), Don Stone (1929 - 2015), who became his most important mentor and a dear friend. Years later, when Stone was no longer driving, Stan volunteered to drive him to gallery openings where they were showing together and to Master Classes Stone was teaching. It was a great experience for Stan as Stone told him lots of stories about the painters in his life and things they taught him, including Paul Strisik, Emile Gruppé and Aldro Hibbard and others. That lineage was important to Stan: Don had driven Aldro Hibbard to teach at the MFA school, in Boston, when Hibbard no longer drove. That kind of education you cannot buy.

Stan has taught numerous painting workshop on Monhegan Island, Tuscany and in the South of France and has taught a master class at the New Hampshire Institute of Art, in Manchester, New Hampshire, where he taught courses for 7 years. Today Stan and his wife live in York Maine, on the York River, surrounded by conservation land and farms. He travels frequently to France and Italy for inspiration to sketch and paint.

Collectors statements:"I love the way you disassemble a scene and then reconstruct it with paint.” “Like a writer describes a person with words, you use paint, color, and brushwork to describe a character.” ”You make it look like the people are moving.”

Artist statement:

“I am just as intrigued by the way the light wraps around a subject as the subject itself. It seems like I'm always painting in my head. Whenever I'm looking, I'm painting; always looking at the value relationships and asking myself ‘how would I paint that?'"

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