January 29, 2003: Class Notes
of the artist
Photo: Post, left, and his Nude Model with White Flowers (1997). (Eric Jordan)
With an artistic output stretching back to the early Roosevelt administration, painter Alan Post *69, at age 88, has managed to enjoy longevity of both art and life. An expressionist who uses strong colors in his oil and acrylic work, Post sold his first painting while a graduate student in economics in 1938. (He completed the coursework for his masters in 1940 but didnt apply for his degree until 1969.) Since then he has sold hundreds of paintings and has exhibited his work for some 60 years at galleries and museums mostly in California. For his latest show last fall at the Solomon Dubnick Gallery in Sacramento a joint exhibit with his sculptor wife, Helen Post created 55 paintings in about a year.
When the juices get flowing you see things well and the composition works well and you want to get it done, says Post, whose studio is in his Sacramento home.
For decades, Post painted only at night and on weekends because of his demanding day job. From 1949 to 1977 he was the chief fiscal analyst for the California Legislature, charged with explaining appropriations items considered by the state government. Although he retired a quarter-century ago, Posts expertise remains in high demand; he is cochairman of the California Citizens Budget Commission and is on the Senate Advisory Commission on Cost Control in State Government, among other commitments.
Still, Posts passion remains with his painting. He began studying art in high school. Tough times during the Depression lent Posts works a dark tone. That began to change in 1965, when the Posts bought a second home on the Spanish Riviera, a sun-dappled region of orange groves and beaches. I lightened up when I got to Spain, recalls Post, who has been influenced by Edward Hopper, Matisse, and Cézanne.
He paints, he has written, out of an intense admiration for something I observe. And he has no plans to fold his easel. Its an addiction, says Post, who soon will have cataract surgery. Im like Renoir, where they had to tape the brushes to his hands. As long as I can see, Ill be painting.
By Van Wallach 80
Van Wallach is a freelance writer in Stamford, Connecticut.
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