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Jesse Don Rasberry
Purple and Red Mesa Landscape

c. 1990-2000

About the Item

Bold oil painting of a sunset over mesas in the American Southwest by Jesse Don Rasberry (American, b. 1940). Signed by the artist in the lower right corner. Presented in a deep red wood frame without glass. Image size: 18"H x 24"W Jesse Don Rasberry was born on November 10, 1940 in rural, picturesque Oklahoma. Shortly after his birth, his family relocated to California, living a short while in Palm Springs, before eventually settling in the grape-growing region of Lodi in San Joaquin County. Later, the family moved a short distance south to Stockton, California, where Rasberry's father supported the group as a builder and carpenter. They would remain in the Stockton/Lodi area throughout Rasberry's adolescent and formative years. Growing up in close proximity to wide open agricultural land and the scenic San Joaquin River Delta had a profound impact on Rasberry, and would later form the foundation and inspiration for his artistic endeavors. The family traveled frequently, which exposed him to the dramatic landscapes of the Southwest. As a young child, Rasberry showed a strong interest in art and the natural world. He attended grade school and high school in Stockton, where Rasberry pursued drafting and drawing. Throughout his life, he always found time in his leisure to draw portraits, wildlife, and architecture. Rasberry also enjoyed woodworking, eventually following in his father's footsteps, embarking on a career as a general contractor and home builder. In 1979, Rasberry relocated to Texas where he continued to work as a general contractor and home builder. During the early 1980s, he commenced a new career as a decorative and fine arts dealer. This career was more in keeping with his appreciation of art. As a dealer in the trade, he was exposed to all manner of art from the 19th and 20th centuries, which served to sharpen his eye and provided much inspiration for the soon-to-be artist. In the early 1980s, while in Texas, Rasberry started painting, primarily landscapes of Texas and California. He spent time with, and drew inspiration from, the regional artists Bill Warden, and Louise Collins. As time passed, Rasberry began to devote more time to his painting, and by the turn of this century, art had become his primary focus. Essentially self-taught, Rasberry received some instruction from the late Bill Warden of Texas. On occasion, he paints with other artists during classes and on plein air painting excursions, as with Ning Hou and Dennis Westerling of Northern California. Rasberry is inspired by the Texas artists Frank Reaugh, Olin Herman Travis, Robert Wood, Porfirio Salinas, and Julian Onderdonk. In California, the work of the great impressionist Maurice Braun holds special mention as being of inspiration to Rasberry. Rasberry has exhibited his paintings at juried art shows near his studio, such as at the Stockton Unitarian Church Art Show and at the Mayor's Art Show in Lathrop, California; at the latter, in April, 2008, he received the Sponsor's Award. However, garnering awards for his artwork has never been a primary focus. The artist's work can be found in private collections, galleries, fine art events, and major auctions in California and Texas.
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