# Arts in Milwaukee – David Sear – art
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Arts in Milwaukee

A Public Service Of Milwaukee Artist Resource Network

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  • “Flame”Flame

    Graphite, charcoal, colored pencil, acrylic on canvas; 24 x 30". As the day transitions to evening, it’s final energy burns across the marsh.

  • “Burst”Burst

    Colored pencil, acrylic on board; 21 x 48". This is one of my favorite areas in Wisconsin: the shapes, the atmosphere, and the three trees in contrast to the fields and mound.

  • “Speckle”Speckle

    Graphite, charcoal, colored pencil, acrylic on panel; 24 x 30". This is a study of light using the Rock River in Wisconsin as a source of inspiration.

  • “Compliment”Compliment

    Colored pencil and acrylic on linen; 24 x 30" This group of buildings was perfect inspiration to formally reflect on my favorites aspects of painting: composition, value, and color.

  • “Passage”Passage

    Graphite, charcoal, colored pencil, acrylic on linen; 30 x 66". Passage is the culmination of a body of work depicting the Turkey River near its confluence with the Mississippi near Cassville, WI. It is an area of great vistas and majestic beauty. This painting was begun on site. I dragged the unstretched linen up the river bluff to sketch in the basic compositional elements. The proportional layout used is referred to as the square-root-of-5 rectangle, which also relates to the concept of the Golden Section.

  • “Wedges”Wedges

    Graphite, charcoal, colored pencil, acrylic on linen; 20 x 60". The century farms, scattered about Wisconsin, have always felt to me swallowed by the enormity of the surrounding environment. This image was drawn on site, with colors and light I found interesting on the fall day I blocked in structural elements.

  • “Awaken”Awaken

    Colored pencil and acrylic on linen with a bevel edge stretcher. Sometimes, I like to play with the physical edges of my paintings. The bevel transitions the image in a manner that suggests a continuation beyond the picture. The painting itself was painted on site along the Rock River in Wisconsin in several separate installments. The layout of the painting reflects the Golden Section with underlying composition elements diagrammed using its ratios.

David Sear

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artist bio

David A. Sear is an award winning 2-D artist whose work is represented in private, corporate and museum collections. Wells Fargo, Bank First Mutual, West Bend Mutual Insurance Company, The Marcus Corporation, State of Wisconsin Collection, Worcester Art Museum, Neville Public Museum, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Marshfield Clinic and Northwestern Mutual have all collected his work. Mr. Sear holds a B.F.A. degree from Clarke College (Dubuque, Iowa) and an M.F.A. from Long Island University (Brookville, N.Y.).

A native Iowan, he has lived on both the East and West Coasts. During these stays, he worked in several art museums, experiencing firsthand the breadth of visual arts found in our culture. Several formative experiences included participating in a visiting artists program, the Master Workshop in Art, held in Southampton, N.Y., and at the Neustadt Museum of Tiffany Art in Manhattan. At the Master Workshop in Art, he met and studied notable contemporary artists such as Eric Fischl, Audrey Flack, Roy Lichtenstein, Larry Rivers, Miriam Shapiro and Jack Youngerman. Today, he draws inspiration from various sources: his favorite watersheds—the Mississippi, Turkey, Rock, and Manitowoc River basins; readings on mathematic proportions; and trips to London, Paris, and Italy. He currently lives and works in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.

Sear is represented by Fine Line Designs Gallery, Ephraim, located in Door County. His website: www.davidsearart.com.

artist statement

Growing up near the Mississippi River, I spent lots of time there in the tow of my father. He was a marathon fisherman and the days I spent with him on the channels and backwaters left indelible impressions of light, sound, smells and movement. Like Twain, I have used it as a source and setting to create a body of work. It’s from this interest and inspiration that I continue to explore local rivers in Wisconsin such as the Rock or Maitowoc. Rivers occupy a certain mythology in our stream of consciousness: as a metaphor, a place of tranquility or rage, a place of commerce and trade.

I incorporate the Golden Section and other related symmetries in my compositions. The Golden Section is a mathematical ratio generally ascribed to the ancient Greeks who used it to define their pursuit of the Perfect Ideal. I find harmonic proportions that relate to nature to be quite compelling. I prefer to use the rectangle, flip it on itself, and use its ratios to align elements in my compositions. The outer dimensions of my work generally relate to this Ratio with reciprocal relationships scribed inside these shapes.

My approach to artmaking first involves mapping out a “Golden Section” grid on the painting surface. If it’s linen, then it is attached to a flat, portable support. I usually begin the work on location, blocking in major structures and capturing light. Pieces are then finished in the studio, sometimes over a period of years. I draw with colored pencils and other implements while placing these marks in layers of acrylic. This creates surfaces that convey light, texture, and color.