Duane Albert Armstrong, a native Californian, was born in Fresno on Christmas Day in 1938. He was raised in the beautiful countryside near San Luis Obispo until 1950 when his family moved to the Santa Clara Valley.
Mr. Armstrong has created over 7,000 fine art paintings since he won his first art award at the age of twelve. His paintings span over four decades of endless exploration in a search for new levels in painting for things yet to be discovered. His work has influenced countless young artists who have now started to branch off into their own individual directions and styles. He has worked with many of these artists personally, encouraging them to produce and to work, knowing quite well that painting is not so much involved with that mystical gift some call "talent" as it is with that four letter word, "work.”
Reproductions of Armstrong's “Fields Of Grass” paintings have enjoyed immense worldwide popularity. His work has been reproduced and distributed by Heritage Publications, Illinois Moulding Co., Windsor Art Co., Turner Art Company, Continental Art Company, and Art Market International. Reproductions of his paintings have been sold in numerous department store chains worldwide. During the 1970s the popularity of his paintings catapulted him into the top five print sales nationwide.
Mr. Armstrong has been honored with two retrospective fine art shows. The first took place at Les Cuisins Gallery, Concord California in 1980. The second took place at Stanford University, Palo Alto California in 2003 that lasted three months and spanned four decades of his work. His paintings are owned and cherished by people from all walks of life. Some of the largest corporations and banks in America have also purchased originals for their permanent collections, and his originals can be seen in a few select galleries.
The vast tranquility conveyed in his field paintings prompted one writer to say, "Perhaps the most persuasive bond that united urban dwellers of every nation is the longing to escape the crowded, fast-paced, high decibel, tension-filled city. The thought of fresh, smokeless air, a view uncluttered by man-made structures and the quest of open spaces strikes a wistful nostalgia in all of us.
Duane Armstrong captures this longing in his paintings. His canvases are broad and vast and evoke a feeling of peaceful contemplation. A few children who appear in his works are far away, just within sight, almost within auditory range. Even they are a reminder that the presence of people can be a form of nostalgia.
“Armstrong's very technique is an extension of the mood he creates. Smooth pastel tones that shimmer and blend, broad areas of intense light, skies that stretch cloudless and open, all impart a sense of timelessness and harmony. Perhaps there never existed such a perfect place of refuge, or perhaps it exists everywhere. Perhaps Armstrong's world is only in the mind of its creator, but his vision is a remarkable one. More remarkable because we all know well the places he depicts, although we cannot recall exactly when we were last there.”
Although most people think of Mr. Armstrong as a painter of enchanted fields, he has a large following of collectors who are captivated by his Abstract Studies, Lord Of The Rings, Sand Dunes, Ladybug In Peril, Pueblo Series, Ladybug In Grass, Lightfall Series, Hot Air Balloons, and the Sunrise At The Beach Series.
Art historian Dina Scoppettone has this to say about Armstrong's work:
“With brilliant shocks of color boldly presented on giant canvases in an abstract manner of visual messaging, clues to the nature of Armstrong's whimsy are not only found in the oil paint on canvas, but also in the title of each work. "Vladimir's Black Hole Compressor" is one example that every viewer will confront with childish curiosity, as if it were a puzzle to be solved Armstrong's paintings beckon the viewer to look deeply at the details that program each work, large scale or otherwise. It is an excellent show of vitality, announcing the re-emergence of Duane Armstrong as one to watch and collect with new interest.”
Mr. Armstrong is currently working on a series of large abstract oil paintings. These abstracts are awe-inspiring with their piercing colors, vast size and profound meaning. During the last decade he has perfected his beautiful Pond Series. There have been seven different generations completed since he created the first pond painting in 1994. Each generation consists of 5 to 21 pieces, and takes him between 9 and 18 months to complete because each painting has approximately 70 layers of oil paint. He recently started a new abstract series he calls Rings. He is now in the process of completing the third generation of his “Floating Rings.”
Much of the proceeds from sales will go directly to non-profit organizations. Armstrong desires to support charities that help children. He has partnered with Hands of Hope to donate half of the proceeds derived from the direct sale of his Americana paintings. Hands Of Hope provides food, clothing, shelter and education to children who have been orphaned or otherwise abandoned because of the AIDS epidemic. Armstrong desires to partner with many other charities that he can fund through Internet sales. His vision is a synergistic one, combining his hard work with the support of art patrons for charitable endeavors.