Exploring the forests and mountains of Oregon and Montana as a child gave Chuck Volz an early appreciation for the landscape and the forces of nature at work. He excelled at drawing from an early age and received encouragement from family and teachers, particularly a high school fine arts teacher. He enrolled at the University of Oregon to study Art and Painting and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in German. He lived in Germany for several years during which he painted in an abstract expressionist style. Upon returning to this country he rediscovered the beauty of the western landscape and started to paint “en plein air.” A chance encounter with the legendary landscape painter Ray Strong changed his life. “It was Ray who introduced me to the personal poetry of painting and the joy of painting the landscape.” He hasn’t looked back. For more than twenty years he has painted the California and southwestern landscape. He currently lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
In painting the landscape I find endless opportunity to express my personal impressions of natural phenomena that move me.
Although my much of my formal training was based in Abstract Expressionism, my paintings have always been based in the landscape. My love of the outdoors and chance encounters with some remarkable painters drew me, not reluctantly, out of the studio and into plein air. Although representational, I consider my work somewhat interpretive, impressionistic and still very much based in abstract patterns of form, light and color.
It has been a great pleasure to be able to record in paint my affection for a moment in time, light and shadow playing across form, the juxtaposition of warm and cool saturated color. I have had the good fortune to call my primary teachers good friends. They include Ray Strong, Michael Lynch, Ned Jacob, David Ballew and Bill Gallen.