Harry Carmean (b. 1922, Anthony, Kansas) is one of California’s premier figurative artists who is known for his paintings and drawings inspired by the ideas of the old masters. He practices a form of drawing known as “draughtsmanship” in which specific ideas are consistently applied throughout a drawing. His paintings are distinguished by Carmean's impeccable knowledge of the figure and complex, sophisticated compositions.
Carmean, who was raised in Southern California, was first a successful singer who had attracted the attention of Hollywood’s talent scouts. When WWII broke out he quit his singing career to join the army and when the war was over he started studying art at L’Ecole de Beaux Arts in Marseiiles. Later in the late 1940’s he studied at Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. It was there that he met the pioneering figurative and abstract painter Lorser Feitelson (also featured in this blog), who strongly influenced Carmean’s work. Carmean intensely art with Feitelson for the next thirty years and is considered, along with Feitelson’s wife Helen Lundeburg, to be one of the best interpreters of Feitelson’s ideas. (Feitelson and Lundeburg's art is be periodically carried in this gallery). Carmean taught figure drawing and painting at Art Center from 1952 through 1996 spanning 44 years, and has taught literally thousands of students throughout his career. Many of these students have found this gallery and and are regular buyers of Carmean’s drawings and paintings (some of the sold artworks can viewed on this blog in an upcoming article). While he is best known for his paintings and drawings, he is also an accomplished printmaker, sculptor and watercolorist.
After retiring in 1996 Carmean moved from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara. For more on Harry Carmean visit harrycarmean.com and the Harry Carmean blog.