ROBERT K. SEMANS
Robert Semans is a classically trained painter who remains true to the time-honored ideals and techniques of the 19th century. He is a versatile artist, painting still lifes, landscapes, formal portraits, genre scenes and murals.
Semans received his B.A. from Gonzaga University in Washington State and his M.F.A. from San Jose State University, but his major artistic influence and mentor was the Italian painter Nira Simi, with whom he studied in Florence, Italy. The aging artist's strength was her ability to teach students classical drawing concepts that dated back to the Renaissance.
Because of this background, Semans has drawn inspiration from several painters including the old masters Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Velasquez and more recent master such as Sargent, George Innes, Mancini, Aaron Shikler, Walter Vaes and others.
Each has enriched the artist’s understanding of one or another facet of painting. From Vermeer he developed an appreciation of composition and color harmony; from Velasquez he learned the importance of subduing excessive detail in favor of the general effect; from Sargent an appreciation of bold brushwork and reducing forms to their essential elements; from Mancini, Vaes, and Shikler the beauty of impasto, lively color, expressive brushwork and those elements we usually identify as "painterly."
Seman's works can best be described as a diffused realism, where detail is emphasized but the edges remain soft. The northern California painter has a long record of solo and group exhibitions and has completed portrait commissions for major corporations, cultural organizations and private individuals. Today the artist strives to express classical values in his work while remaining open to contemporary ideas and trends.