Spike Ress was born in Long Island, New York but grew up in New Mexico where the landscape and culture influenced his artistic direction. Ress’ early years were spent as a designer and illustrator. In 1978 he left his commercial art career to pursue fine art full-time, painting in both watercolor and oils. Ress is a signature member of several state, regional and national watercolor societies including The Western Federation of Watercolor Societies and Watercolor West. He exhibits extensively and has earned numerous awards. His work is in museum, corporate and private collections throughout the country.

“There have been many influences on my life and artistic development from significant people and life experiences but the earliest came from my maternal grandfather, a successful commercial artist in Manhattan who sometimes let me watch him at work in his studio at Grand Central Station building. A second profound influence came from my father’s career in the Air Force which kept us moving, in my first ten years, to many parts of the country from New York to California and places in between. As a painter of scenes from nature and the world around me my concerns have always been straightforward: how can I best convey that elusive feeling of presence? That is to say, how might I best make a painting so the viewer will feel the way the scene felt, not just see details of how the scene looked? My approach to painting is quite simple, I first observe the scene, then analyze how I might paint it, thinking about composition, color, values etc. In short, I try to picture the finished work in my mind. However, when I begin to paint I put aside the intellectual process and seek an intuitive response to what is before me.

Spike Ress