David Bjurstrom makes his home in Ashland, Oregon. Since first inspired to pursue art as a career while in junior high school, he has spent over thirty-five years capturing the world around him.
After early explorations in watercolor and oil painting, he came to settle on working only in pencil. “It’s probably not the most glamorous of mediums but I find it endlessly fascinating and I’ve never felt limited by that choice,” says David. “I am constantly challenged because there are no limits. There is a purity of subject and a power in black and white that cannot be matched.”
His highly detailed drawings, though broadly defined as ‘western’, encompass a wide range of subject matter from landscapes and animals to people and still lifes. “I don’t like to categorize my work or style in any one genre. I’d rather let my collectors enjoy the work for what it is without some preconceived notion of how it is classified.”
Speaking of his technique, David explains, “While many artists draw with an emphasis on lines, I use light and shadow—contrast—to delineate surfaces, much like a painter uses color. In that respect, my approach to drawing is more like painting. The only lines visible are those used to portray a texture in my subjects. They’re very rarely, if ever, used to separate one surface from another.“
“This approach mimics the way our eyes see the world. When one looks at an object, there isn’t an outline that separates it from its background. The separation is achieved through variations in color, light and shadow. Since, with the pencil, I have only black, white and shades of gray with which to work, I must rely only on the light falling across the surfaces. It is also the light or, more correctly, the shadows created by the light that reveals the textures of the subject.”
“A frequent comment is that my drawings look like photographs but they really go well beyond what a photograph could be. Because, as an artist, I have the luxury to add or subtract details that a camera cannot readily do, there is clarity in my subjects not easily possible in a photograph. There is also an undefined quality in my drawings that, although nearly photographic in detail, adds an emotional response. That emotion is something that comes from the artist’s hand. It results from the conscious and unconscious decisions made in the creation of the artwork.”
David’s work is now recognized as among the very best and most innovative of drawings in pencil., often winning ‘Best of Show’ and other top honors in some of the West’s most prestigious art shows, including the La Quinta Arts Festival, Phippen Museum Western Art Show, Art in the Pearl, National Western Art Show, Cherry Creek Arts Festival and the Peppertree Art Show.
Recent awards include:
2013 Best of Show–Drawing/Painting/Pastels — Old Town Art Fair, Chicago, IL
2013 Award of Excellence — Art on the Square, Belleville, IL
2012 Award of Merit — La Quinta Arts Festival, La Quinta, CA
2012 Austin Art Boards Featured Artist— Austin, TX
2011 Best of Show — Affaire In The Gardens art show, Beverly Hills, CA
2011 First Place: Drawing & Printmaking — Affaire In The Gardens art show, Beverly Hills, CA
2011 Best of Show, Drawing & Printmaking — The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival, The Woodlands, TX
2011 Best of Category, Drawing & Printmaking — La Quinta Arts Festival, La Quinta, CA
2011 First Place, Two-Dimensional Media — ArtFest Fort Myers, Fort Myers, FL
2010 Benchmark Award — Art In The High Desert, Bend, OR
2009 Best of Show — Salem Art Fair & Festival, Salem, OR
2009 Best of Category, Drawing & Printmaking — La Quinta Arts Festival, La Quinta, CA
David Bjurstrom’s drawings and limited edition prints can be found in private collections throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.