John Comer was born in Washington, D.C. in 1948. When he was
five years old, his family moved to Southern California where Comer
spent his days swimming and surfing in the Pacific. He began
painting at the age of 13 after receiving a box of paints for his
birthday, and he attended Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa where he
studied painting with Donna Sharkey and printmaking, etching,
serigraphy, and drawing with Bruce Piner. He continued his
education in painting with Robert Frame at Santa Barbara City College
in 1968 and studied printmaking with Stephen Cortwright and painting
and drawing with Irma Cavat at the University of California at Santa
Barbara in 1969.
In the 1970s, while quickly achieving success as a landscape artist
in the Santa Barbara region, Comer pursued a second love, the sea,
during the 1970’s. Working as a commercial fisherman off the
Channel Islands and sailing his boat "Debonair" in the Pacific and
Caribbean gave him a great appreciation for atmosphere. He says,
"I’ve seen a lot of weather, its almost like the landscape is
secondary; the weather is the most important thing. It affects what you
see and don’t see--the colors and shapes."
In 1985 Comer painted with Julian Ritter in Ritter’s studio on Maui,
Hawaii, and between 1992 and 1994, he worked with Ray Strong in
Strong’s studio in Santa Barbara. In the past few years, his work
has been the subject of a number of important group and one man shows
throughout California. He actively exhibits at George Stern Fine
Arts and with the Oak Group. His paintings are widely sought
after and appear in many important collections thoughout the
John Comer currently resides in Morro Bay with his wife Lesley and their son Reef.
Member: California Art Club, Oak Group
“Landscape painting for me is about light on the land and water.
The shadows reveal the forms and the forms are a record of the folding
of mountains, the cutting of water, and the geological layers of time.
The painting is the record of the experience of the painter and the
land, weather, and particular time. ‘Where it is...What it is’” J.C.
---Biographical information provided by the artist.