Photograph courtesy  Caren Louise Photographs

Photograph courtesy Caren Louise Photographs

Bob Magneson

Welcome to my website!

I have been painting for more than 40 years. I was born and raised in California. As you can see from my select portfolio, I'm mostly drawn to natural landscapes. Many of my paintings are of central California — the coastline, Yosemite National Park, the Spanish missions, or other iconic landscapes.

I graduated from San Jose State University with a BA in art. My strongest interest at that time was design and layout, air-brush illustration, and transparent watercolor.

My first full-time job was with FMC Corporation as a technical illustrator. I started as an air-brush photograph retoucher and progressed to an illustrator and, ultimately, to a graphic designer.

Later, I started my own graphic design/illustration firm in San Jose, California—the part of California that would later become known as Silicon Valley. I had plenty of work until I couldn’t compete with the computer: I simply couldn’t make the shift from a drafting table to a computer screen. From years of using the airbrush to create detailed illustrations, I fell in love with the freedom that acrylic paint afforded me—fast drying and easy cleanup.

At that point, I changed careers. I taught adult education classes on painting in the San Francisco Bay Area. But I quickly learned that my students could not draw well, which is the foundation for painting well. So I added classes on perspective and drawing. My summer job became teaching “Drawing What You See” at Yosemite National Park Art Center, and I did that for seven seasons.

As a teacher, I developed my skill with acrylic paints and found that I used many of the same techniques as the Impressionists and post-Impressionists. Acrylic also lent itself well to copying van Gogh’s style. I enjoy plein air landscape painting and use van Gogh’s post-Impressionist style, with its quick application and very little blending on the canvas. This works well for the subjects of my paintings.

I now live in northern Virginia, and I am learning paint application and color choices by visiting the National Gallery of Art, among other fine museums in our nation's capital. I am a member of the Vienna Arts Society.

Thank you for visiting my website!