Throughout a dynamic life that has spanned the
Great Depression, the Second World War, the rise of Silicone Valley,
and the dawn of the 21st century, Lowell Herrero has turned his
passion for living into art. He traveled from his early home in
Oakland California to Tuscany, Provence, and Spain where he absorbed
the profound lessons of their sensuous landscapes. The colors of
horizons and rich earth, the sensations of sunlight, and the fragrance
of flower-filled fields co-mingled in his imagination and flowed
through his paint brush on to his canvases.
The work reproduced in these pages celebrates his lifelong enchantment
with nature's beauty and fecundity and the deep human connection
to it. Herrero's decade-long love affair with the Napa Valley has
been the immediate inspiration for his earthy paintings. Yet, these
are imaginary landscapes created in his mind's eye from a life of
keen observation and experience.
Herrero delights in farmers engaged in varieties of agricultural
labor. He renders them bursting with life, over-large, and content
-- extensions of the very soil they cultivate. Vineyards stretch
into the distance as grape pickers enjoy lunch under a cloudless
blue sky. Lavender harvesters bend to their task, and a field of
rolled bales tells us the hard work of haying is at an end. Each
painting invites us to smile with pleasure and enjoy the inner vitality
and plentitude of the landscape.
Lowell Herrero presents ninety paintings completed
since the 1990s and published on the occasion of his one-man exhibition
at the Napa Valley Museum in Yountville, California. This volume
offers readers a chance to become better acquainted with the artist
through an in-depth interview and an essay on the origins and development
of Herrero's extensive body of work.
For many years, Herrero maintained a highly successful career as
a commercial designer and illustrator, stealing time from his pressing
work schedule to spend hours at the easel. Eventually, his desire
to paint full time prevailed, and in 1982 he gave up advertising
to devote himself to his canvases. You can recognize Herrero's commercial
experience in his brilliant handling of intense colors and his serene,
balanced compositions. In more recent paintings, the smoother surfaces
of the commercial art style give way to a dotted, almost pointillist
technique that adds excitement to his lush fields of vegetation.
But above all, Herrero's paintings project the irrepressible
joie de vivre of an artist who knows how to live.
For a high-resolution version of the cover, click
Lowell Herrero (b 1921) has enjoyed a long
and varied career in art. After formal art education at California
College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, California, he immediately
embarked on a very successful career in advertising illustration
and design. He started at the bottom, as part of a large studio,
and worked to the top, owning his own graphic design agency. National
clients and awards made the
agency highly recognizable and profitable, but the three partners,
all artists, each yearned to be free of the corporate life. They
dissolved their business and Herrero began the second half of his
life in art. He started to paint to please himself!
In 1993, Herrero moved into a new studio on Mount Saint Helena,
in the Napa Valley. The location and size of the studio greatly
influenced his images, gave him compelling new subject matter and
allowed him to paint in a large format. In 2001 he settled permanently
in the Napa Valley, where he lives with his wife Janet in a Tuscan
farmhouse of his own design. He spends each day in the studio painting
the beautiful landscapes of his imagination.
For a high-resolution image of the artist, click
To view a sample of Lowell
Herrero as a PDF file, click
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