CreativeView – Celebrating Our Creative People ­ Brian Swander

Celebrating Our Creative People – Brian Swander
By Paul Forakis

I was asked to share some words about my old friend Brian Swander. On most summer Saturday mornings, you can find a tall lanky framed man leaning against a beautiful Raleigh three speed bike, with a sketch pad in hand and his faithful Border Collie, Oro, just sucking in the sights, smells and impressions of the Modesto Farmers Market. Brian is old school, the sketches become pen and ink drawings that he prints and applies various color washes to, to get a sense of balance and impact. When he finally approaches the canvas, it is an eruption; he is no slave to the earlier steps in the process, the moment takes over, he moves, no he dances around the room with his brushes, viewing the image from all angles, adding strokes here then there. Wah La! These paintings grace the walls of many fine restaurants and beautiful homes. Brian’s’ interests vary greatly, if you have had the good pleasure of the artists open studio tour, you have experienced his work in classical mosaics, architectural design work and construction as seen in his home and out buildings, the 16 stunning Raleigh bicycles he restored, the scale model mock ups of his many Gallo and Prospect Theater set designs, his print shop, studio, wood shop and finally his musical instruments, guitars, mandolin and dobro, that he has played on stages and backyards across the valley since we were both 15. Brian is a renaissance man in any age. He appreciates and supports the talents and art of others. He lives to a quiet personal code that is visible through those that call him friend. Brian is one of Modesto’s’ art treasures and we are better for his presence. I know that I am.

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