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Biography - Sterling Hoffmann

Sterling Hoffmann has been painting and drawing all his life. From the moment his mother put a Crayola in his hand, art became his way of recording the magical world around him. Although his childhood drawings and watercolor paintings won many awards, including a scholarship for a summer semester at the San Francisco Academy of Art, it took him many years before deciding to pursue an art career. In 2002, he graduated from San Jose State University with a degree in Graphic Design (emphasis in Animation). Sterling started pursuing his passion of drawing and painting en plein air (on location) during his short post-graduation stay in Romney, West Virginia. As he got to know many of the people and learned about their farms dating back many generations, he set out to capture some of the old barns and rolling landscapes with his fountain pen and a pad of illustration board. When he returned to California in 2004, he settled in Sonoma County and started his fulltime artist career by painting the vanishing landscapes. He started using oils and studying with local artists including Camille Przewodek, Craig Nelson, and Frank Gamon. From tractors and barns, he has moved on to capturing his response to the true essence of all of the places he visits. Some of the other diverse subjects in his paintings include the majestic California coastline, the rugged scenery of the Rocky Mountains, and the fascinating human figure. His art shows his thrill at discovering the color, light, and warmth in his ever-changing surroundings. Sterling's unique style has brought him numerous awards, commissions and entry into prestigious juried shows including Oil Painters of America Western Regional Exhibition (2007)/National Exhibition (2008), PaintAmerica Top100 and Second Mini50 (2007), California Art Club Wild Things Show (2007-Juror's Choice Award)/Concertos in Color (2008), Sonoma Salute to the Arts (2006-2nd Place, 2007), Keyes Gallery Plein Air National Level Competition (2004, 2005) and Allied Artists of America Annual International Exhibition (2004). Plein Air Shows include San Luis Obispo Plein Air Festival (2008), Laguna Plein Air Painters Association Best of Plein Air (2008-2nd Place), Frank Bette Center Alameda Plein Air Invitational (2006, 2007, 2008), Carmel Art Festival Plein Air Event (2007, 2008-Emerging Artist and Honorable Mention Awards), and Estes Park "Painting the Parks" Plein Air Competition and Show (2006, 2007). His work has shown in government buildings, coffee shops, wineries, art centers, and more. It is currently exhibited at Sebastopol Gallery, an artist-owned gallery that he helped found with 13 artists.