Tim Solliday
(b. 1947)

Born in Iowa and raised in Southern California, Tim Solliday became enamored with the West and its mythology at an early age while riding his horse along the beach from San Pedro to Portuguese Bend. Drawing was “like eating” to Solliday, and at age 14 he began studying under Theodore Lukits, who was such a strict teacher that Solliday spent a year drawing from skeletons before he was allowed to work with models.

Supporting himself as a billboard and motion picture artist until he could find his way as a plein air landscape painter, Solliday was gradually exposed to the works of great artists whose legacies gave him direction in his painting. Feeling that the West was more aesthetically pleasing in the 1800s, Solliday has done an excellent job of channeling the energy and talents of previous masters into his works. His admiration of John Singer Sargent, Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh, and the early California Impressionists leads him to create profoundly colorful Western landscapes and figurative scenes.

It was the spirit of Frank Tenny Johnson (1849-1916), however, which influenced him most directly, because Solliday sought out his old studio in the foothills north of Pasadena and painted there for five years. The studio was once a gathering place for prominent artists including Charles M. Russel, Jack Wilkinson Smith, Edward Borein, Dean Cornwell and Norman Rockwell. Solliday claims that every time he would enter the bungalow his spirits were lifted.

Philosophically, Solliday believes that beautiful art should have physics and poetry, that is, solid technical aspects as well as the elements left to the viewer, which are harder to define. He scorns most Modern art, saying that art should be life-affirming and citing the success of the plein air painters. Although figures are the most difficult to paint, he finds narrative works the most fulfilling, saying that “Great art should always be understood on an emotional level.”

Solliday is a signature member of the California Art Club and the Pastel Society of America as well as a member of the Laguna Art Association. He has received first place in the landscape divisions of shows put on by the Oil Painters of America and the California Art Club and has placed second and third in the Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational. Solliday was also part of the 2008 Masters of the West at Autry National Center in Los Angeles, CA. Solliday currently resides in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.