Artist Statement

Now, with David Bruce Fine Art in operation in Newport, RI, I have the unique benefit – as a painter – of exhibiting my ‘acquired eye’, which has been aided by many life experiences including operating with the military, global travel and managing a great quantity of exciting jobs.  To be clearer, I have done stunt work in the film industry, handled undercover surveillance as a licensed private detective, was an active duty Navy SEAL for seven years (currently a navy reserve officer), have done private yacht security on yachts greater in length than 300 feet and have protected very high-wealth individuals. In addition, skydiving, scuttling through back alleys of Gibraltar and even pitch-black closed circuit SCUBA work have all aided me in seeing life beyond the mundane.  

What I believe separates me from many other painters is that I grew up in an art gallery on Cape Cod, where my parents settled after meeting in art school.  I was surrounded by paintings and conversation about paintings from the start.  My father was an Oceanographer and Physicist with the world-famous Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where he utilized his Rhodes scholarship.  My mother ran the contemporary Woods Hole Art Gallery for 45 years and painted, taught, sold, and restored paintings of great value and ability.  Life Drawing was taught in one room of our house, which was attended by many painters.  I remember quality nude drawings being critiqued by very skilled and focused arts people from the community.

I believe that what we see as humans is a culmination of heredity and what we have culminated through our senses during the experience of life.  My eye was shaped by other experiences on the east coast including frequent trips to Provincetown Studios (home to Marin, Henchi, Packard and many other talented painters) and galleries and museums across Cape Cod, to Boston and New York.  I was raised among the strong odors of drying oil paint and diffused solvents used for rendering genuine works of fine art.

With a minor degree in Fine Art from University of Maryland, and my career well managed, I am poised to record beauty, toil, and conflict in order to capture the many colorful consequences of structure and space around us.  The formidable intersection of mass and light generate exploitable stories of decay and strength.  The urgent care of a bridge trellis that has failed in paint and with corroded faith demonstrate an opportunity for me to reveal that story; that which is otherwise not observed as critical to a passerby.  Since late 2010, I have produced a series on the Interstate (Roadways) as an introductory sample of my ability.   

I reveal:

Interstates throb with the power of multi-wheeled rigs and high horsepower that abide the bending lanes and carve the laden night atmosphere.  Molten red hoods of 18-wheelers crowd the rear-view and an energy stream demands the attention of those on caffeine punch and running recent history of how many exits?  Inside the cabin, a lone driver faces the firmament of our bloodstream highway system.  That soul in a cell scouts the vanishing point, carting goods we receive at the halfway point of his task.  Burnt brakes and tired tires know that roadways don’t sleep.  Stops set in neon and diesel smoke remind us that our set-in comfort zones are dependent on the divided strips of commerce.  Stories are found on our roadways, and in the stacked container ships portside; also with aircraft aligned with stenciled direction and traffic control – all with people in suspense.  

I find that such theaters have a need to be recorded, so that our intrigue can be a step closer to solution; but never quite yet an answer, as we all have a taste for mystery.  Everyone will have their own visual solution, but not without a teasing suggestion. The beautiful thing about our existence is that, like spectral color events, there is an unlimited quantity of information to record.  I believe in following a subject in series in order to give geometry and perspective to the enveloped story, and thus to provide feeling and multiple vantages for the viewer.   My paintings are built to quell only a partial thirst; the depths of hue and line are for the viewer to study for their own explanation - of where is home and what is of value.  There is beauty beyond glamour in my world of painting.

I recall my successes in art classrooms years ago.  The sessions were held all day on Saturday and Sunday, and for the first time in my life, besides when in training as a SEAL, I found something that riveted my attention.  I arrived on the Dean’s List also for the first time and graduated with a high accumulative grade point average.  From this experience, I developed a confidence – beyond much of my other life – in holding a firm skill, which was not going to leave me.  In the last four years, I have gained strength in the handling of paint and medium on different surfaces and am gaining stride.  

My professional work in security (since 1995) has had definite value and fuels my esteem; however, to become fulfilled, I must paint.  As Psychologist Maslow defined, and self-actualized.


What a man can be, he must be. This need we may call self-actualization… It refers to the desire for self-fulfillment, namely, to the tendency for him to become actualized in what he is potentially. This tendency might be phrased as the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming. (Maslow, 1954, Motivation and Personality, p. 93)

There is no reason the works I plan to do in the future couldn’t venture to collaborative efforts including installations - it’s easy to picture those concepts I have in mind spreading to surfaces beyond two-dimensions.  I want to create appreciable possessions for others and obviously visual joy.  I will sustain my passion of painting if people can read the story I’m drafting, and understand the artistic importance I see in preserving particular events.