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Timothy Clark Interview

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Getting to Know Timothy J. Clark

Timothy J. Clark is an internationally acclaimed artist from Santa Ana specializing in watercolor and oil paintings and has had his work featured at countless respected galleries and exhibits around the United States and abroad. Clark is not only a modern master but has taught the arts at institutions such as the University of Hawaii, Yale University, and the National Academy School in New York City. His recent works will be on display at the Moulton Museum for the public to enjoy until March 9.

After exhibiting prodigious paintings in New York City and a distinguished collection of portraits in Washington, D.C., Clark said he decided to show his works at the Moulton Museum to share recent paintings that capture scenes of Orange County.

“I hadn’t shown in Orange County for a good while, and it was nice to show different paintings,” Clark said.

Exhibit Grand Opening

At the exhibit’s opening, Clark was introduced by Jared Mathis, the President of the Moulton Museum and fourth-generation descendant of the Moulton family, and said they understood each other very quickly.

“Everything that I know is that the Moulton family has raised great leaders in the community and supporters of the arts for generations,” Clark said.

The selection process for the 22 paintings on display at the museum occurred organically, with Clark crediting Mathis for the mixture of works visitors ultimately set their eyes on.

“You know, there was some discussion, but Jared has a really good eye,” said Clark.

Before deciding to exhibit at the Moulton Museum, Clark said he had heard much about Nellie Gail Moulton, the matriarch of the Moulton family who helped found the Laguna Art Museum, the Laguna Art School, and the Laguna Playhouse.

Early Life

Clark, whose artistic aptitude manifested early in his life, picked up his first collegiate paintbrush when he began at the Los Angeles Art Center College of Design at the tender age of 17.

“That’s all I’ve done my whole life,” Clark said. “Long before I even went to art school, I was ready to just draw and paint.”

By his second semester, the young artist took classes at another Los Angeles art school, the Chouinard Art Institute along with the Art Center. Clark said attending each institution let him pull from their unique artistic philosophies and apply them to his own work.

Upon graduating, Clark’s connection with Orange County deepened as he began teaching life drawing at Orange Coast College at 22.

“I wasn’t quite teaching full-time, but it was enough to support me to pay some of the bills, and I could sell a painting now and then and get by,” said Clark.

Clark made it clear that his life has been dedicated to the arts and painting, but he also enjoys literature, and some of his favorite music includes the early blues of the Rolling Stones. The artist said he takes the time to unwind on the golf course now and then, too.

Musings

“As a painter… you are locked up by yourself a lot,” Clark said. “So, I’m not an avid golfer, but I try to play nine holes a week with a friend on either coast, wherever I live.”

Solitude, the state of being alone, is a characteristic many of Clark’s paintings evoke, including “Doheny Inspirations” featured at the Moulton Museum. A woman can be seen engrossed in perhaps a novel, another woman donning a white sun hat gazes out on the horizon line, and various other solitary beach-goers are seen strolling the sands of Doheny State Beach. Although each figure is alone, they are not lonely.

“It’s like me playing golf with my friends,” Clark said. We’re not always chatting, but we’re just, we’re together. It’s part of the human connection.”

Clark said he had to go to church a lot as a child and often marveled at the complexities within the holy structure’s architecture. He recalled painting his first watercolor of a church in a small Austrian village during a snowstorm that led him to paint more and more of them. A watercolor of San Juan Capistrano’s Serra Chapel Clark painted in 2021 can be found at the Moulton Museum’s exhibit.

“I’ve painted more Serra Chapel than I have of any other church, and it’s meaningful to me,” Clark said.

Clark paused to ponder the muses in his life. The first worked in publishing and understood literature beautifully, another moved with tremendous elegance, one guided Clark towards absolute honesty in his paintings, and the last managed everything for the artist.

“And all four of them were named Marriott,” Clark said, implying the vast multitudes of his wife.

Clark and art historian Jean Stern, a close friend of Clark’s, provided comments on Reflections on Saturday, March 9 from 1 to 5 p.m. for the exhibition’s closing celebrations.

“Timothy J. Clark sees things ordinary people can’t… Clark, one of the finest artists of this time, is among my favorite painters,” former director of The Irvine Museum, Jean Stern, said.

Moulton Museum and Clark invite you to close out the exhibit featuring paintings that strike a delicate balance of symbols of man and nature. This exhibit has been extended for a few days for you all to enjoy.