What’s a six-letter word to describe painter Tim Genet?
Bright blue eyes sparkle above a bright, contagious smile as he talks excitedly about his new work. Bright pigments cling to the dozens of pie tins that serve as painting palettes. Bright color combinations ignite the canvases he brings to life in the brightly-lit, garage-based studio in the Fountain Valley, California home he shares with wife Belen. Even our conversation is bright, leaving little doubt that Tim Genet is among Art-A-Fair’s brightest attractions.
The native Californian’s art career began in the early 70s when Belen enrolled him in a painting class. His very first painting – a realistic, oversized landscape – hangs in his living room to this day. Both Tim and his artwork have evolved over the years as his interests expanded to include plein aire painting, developing an expressive figurative style, working in mixed media, and, most recently, painting abstract landscapes. Equally adept at both mechanical and creative tasks, Tim makes his own stretcher bars and stretches his own canvases.
Tim’s technique leans towards the spontaneous. His process begins with a sketch or photograph taken from life or from a magazine – but, that’s usually where the planning ends. He typically blocks in large areas of the canvas, sketches the featured subject, and then starts applying paint with a small pallet knife. Only as the painting takes shape does he decide on the color combinations that give his works their bright distinctive quality.
Fascinated by color, texture and form, Tim possesses an uncanny ability to capture poses of the human form in his signature “expressive figurative” paintings (which make up a large percentage of his current body of work). His smaller figure studies have become more abstract over the years, and some of his larger ones have migrated from paint to mixed media, but they’re unmistakably his own. Tim’s more recent works illustrate a greater emphasis on texture and layering; he’s taken to dragging sticks, combs and brushes through the drying paint – scratching through layers of pigment to reveal underlying color. He’s also moving beyond hard-edged figures by “cutting through to the background” to soften and add visual interest. By his own admission, Tim can’t always predict the outcome using this technique – but, he’s quick to add that he’s “always looking for the next adventure in (his) art”.
Art has indeed been a part of family life in the Genet household, and Tim has enjoyed unwavering support from his family. Belen has accompanied Tim throughout years of world travels (with paints in tow), and notes that “Art is just a part of us.” Grown children Josh and Joslyn have both chosen careers in the art field, and even the grandchildren demonstrate artistic potential.
This summer will mark 16 years since Tim’s first Art-A-Fair season. He usually spends at least a couple of days a week on the festival grounds, chatting with visitors and painting in his booth. Make sure to stop by to meet Tim and purchase his work – it will be the bright spot of your day.