Origins: Larry Knapp

I suppose I would have to thank two particular women in my life for an avid interest in art and an enduring love of painting. When I was a child growing up in Los Angeles, my Mom would to tear off large sheets of  butcher paper and lay them out for me to color on. I would spend hours and hours coloring and drawing – and imagining. One year she took my water colors and painted all the Easter lilies out in the yard. I was also given the popular “paint by numbers” sets. She was the certainly the –  first female to profoundly influence my creativity.

“About That Hat”

My first memories of grade school, in the first and second grades, are of my teacher, Miss Polly. She let us color and paint all the time. It was this freedom she gave me to express myself that got me hooked on painting: an addiction for which I will, thankfully, never find a cure. Thus, my mother and Miss Polly were crucial to my later artistic development.

I recall that in the 6th grade I took a mail order art test wherein you were asked to finish simple drawings. I did very well at this. So much so that a representative from the company came to our house and wanted to sell my parents the mail order class. I was so disappointed that they would not purchase the class for me – but my desire was always there: every Saturday morning I watched Jon Gnagy on TV and drew along with him with my very own special Jon Gnagy “learn to draw kit”.

“Self Portrait with Tweety”

Paints and colors have always been my way of expression. Once I got to college, I knew that there was only one discipline that I cared to explore and pursue, and I proceeded to work on a degree in fine arts, with an emphasis in painting as well as graphic design. I supported myself in the ensuing years as a graphic designer and an art director, but painting has always been my driving force.

I am happiest when I am pouring my visions of the earth’s wondrous, natural beauty onto a fresh canvas, making it appear as fresh, free and alive as is deserves to be. Its probably in the sprit of my mom and Miss Polly that I continue to do creative work.

Larry Knapp in his Morro Bay Studio

See more of Larry’s work on his website and in person during the 2012 Open Studios Art Tour! Catalogs available online September 1. Printed Catalogs available after September 15. Call ARTS Obispo/SLO County Arts Council to have the catalog shipped to you! (805) 544 9251

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