Born in rural Southern New Jersey, Drew was drawing at an early age. He began his formal training in art at Glassboro State College, now known as Rowan University. While there he became fascinated with the abstract expressionists through Prof. Gerald Monroe and created bold colored, loosely rendered landscapes in oil. During that time his design was selected for a large mural for the Chamberlain Student Center. He graduated in 1985 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
He began showing his work in Southern New Jersey galleries in group, two man and solo exhibitions.
With formal training in art along with a construction background Drew made a living combining his skills by becoming an architectural draftsman. Drafting was a way of drawing every day and conveying 3 dimensional objects in 2 dimensional from. He created building elevations, floor plans to detailed installation layouts of electrical work. Hand drafting eventually developed into computer aided design and his pencil was laid to rest. Drew became proficient at computer aided design and had a prosperous career.
Later he continued his education at the Continuing Education Department of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Through studio and plein air classes his focus became primarily on landscape, using pastels for their immediacy and rich color.
His work is inspired by many different artists: John Constable, Vincent Van Gogh, Giovanni Boldini, Piet Mondrian, Mark Rothco, Fairfield Porter, George Inness, Wolfe Kahn and Ives Klein, to name a few.
As an artist, he paints in a realistic style, scenes that are inspired by actual locations. Sometimes very accurately rendered and at other times only using it as a starting point. The suggestion of detail is done by the scraping of pastel, a smudge with his finger, one color placed strategically beside another fascinates him. It’s that act of painting that interests him. The exploration of the surface versus the medium. In the end creating a record of the experiences that brought forth the finished piece. He attempts to control that uncontrollable accident and create works that the viewer can appreciate as a beautiful representation of a place or dig deeper, up close, and take in the painting for the abstract qualities, assorted colors and shapes placed in various ways on paper. As in all painting, trees don't exist on the paper, there is no sun light, it's all about color and form.
Drew has been developing a body of work that represents the landscape of Southern New Jersey, where he lives, as well as other areas of the East Coast. He has won best in show and other awards. His work is in both private as well as public collections and continues to exhibit throughout the area.
(above- "Untitled" Oil on Canvas 24"x46" 1985)
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