“Through my journey as an artist I have found that a painting is more than the subject itself; it is also more than the paint itself; it is a balance between the two, like letting both the dancers and the music create a ballet. The paint takes the stage here and the figure there, all in turn, creating an exchange that only a painting can, and it is marvelous. Each painting has its own personality and it is exciting to watch it unfold. Many times the painting has its own ideas and I simply have to step out of the way and let it dictate, questioning nothing.” -Trent
Trent Gudmundsen, American Artist. B. 1978
Trent Gudmundsen (born 1978 in California, USA) grew up in a small Utah farming community where he began oil painting at the age of 14. He later attended college on a full-tuition art scholarship, but the artist frequently found himself painting in the nearby fields and canyons instead of attending his classes because he “learned so much more by just painting.” …but the experience yielded one lasting result: the artist, bored of his classes, decided to paint quick studies of the people around him, and quickly found that he was quite good at painting people. Trent soon left school to paint on his own and thereafter moved to Colorado where he met and married Lorajean. That same year, Southwest Art magazine recognized Trent’s potential in their annual “21 Under 31” article. (Later, the magazine would feature Trent in a 6-page feature [in August 2010]).
Trent’s work has now been recognized with top awards on a national level including at the American Impressionist Society National Exhibition (NY, NY. 2019), two Oil Painters of America National Exhibitions (2003 & 2009), and the National Oil & Acrylic Painters Society’s “Best of America” Exhibit (2019).
Inspired largely by European and Soviet impressionists and realists, Gudmundsen’s paintings are traditional in theme, but painted in what amounts to be a very contemporary approach, often simplifying parts of the painting down to just graphic blocks of color, and other times by subduing and “de-constructing” the edges of figures until they almost meld with the background. Unlike some contemporary works that seek to temporarily ‘wow’ the viewer with garish colors and gimmicky methods, Gudmundsen’s work seeks to be both accurate and subdued while also tantalizing the viewer with a reserved amount of implied texture and thick brushwork, a combination that yields works of art that become more and more visually gratifying the more they’re viewed and lived with.