A native of Illinois, He began his professional life as a graphic designer and art director in St. Louis, Missouri and later moved to Southern California to further his design career. Although Schwartz’s career was successful, he wanted to pursue work of a more personally fulfilling nature.
To reach these new goals Schwartz first attended life drawing classes at Associates in Art, in Sherman Oaks, California. He later studied at the California Art Institute in Westlake Village, California, where he received extensive training in drawing and painting the human figure from life. While studying with famed illustrator Glen Orbik, he was exposed to a new way of seeing in terms of shape, value and edge. After two years of study at the California Art Institute, he was invited to become an instructor and taught there until the school closed in late 2014.
Mr. Schwartz has a great appreciation for realist artwork. He likes the challenge of combining accurate drawing and expressive brushwork. He has studied and been influenced by painters from John Singer Sargent, to Anders Zorn, to Nicolai Fechin. Their influence on his work can be seen ranging from subtle color harmonies to a variety of thick and thin paint application.
If one asks Schwartz what his favorite subjects are, he replies “figure and still life.” He qualifies this by saying no matter what the subject is, all paintings are really about laying down shapes of color with a variety of edges. Everything can be broken down into these elements. Large shape vs. small shape, light shape vs. dark shape, hard edge vs. soft edge.