Scott Moore
A Chronological Autobiography

1949 - On October 13, 1949, I was born in Los Angeles, California. We lived in Westchester, a neighborhood in western Los Angeles, close to the L.A. Airport. There was a pig farm near by and my mom told me she and dad went over to the farm to pick me out of the litter. I was probably asking her where babies came from and in the 1950's the stork story was beginning to wear thin. I knew she was joking, because when my brother Mark and I would get real dirty playing outside, she'd tell us that she was going to send the two of us back to the pig farm. Knowing that Mark was born in Oklahoma blew that story wide open, but I still spent a lot of time in front of the bathroom mirror wondering if I would have a pig nose when I matured.

1950 - We moved to Stillwater, Oklahoma where my dad (Carl) had been hired to work at Oklahoma A&M (Oklahoma State University) in the graphic arts department. Dad had attended Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles, focusing on the graphic arts.

Mom (Mary) with hairdo #17. Our mom would spend her entire lifetime searching for the right hair color and hair style. As soon as I was old enough to walk to the Alpha Beta grocery store by myself, she would send me with a couple of bucks to get her a bottle of hair dye. She would describe the color shade that she wanted and I would go to the store, stand in the aisle and stare at all the bottles. Afternoon Sunshine, Silver Mist, Summer Blonde... I was beginning to hone my artistic sense of color theory.

Maureen

1950 - My older sister Maureen (b. 1947) and I kept my mom busy at home. Mom and dad always bought our clothes a few sizes too large so that they would last for many years. I think I'm still wearing that Christmas robe...

I was a happy kid.

Strutting my happiness.

Maureen, Mark and Me

1951 - My brother Mark was born, becoming the only sibling not born in California. He and I would embark on some amazing adventures in the years to come.

Firing up the family tractor.

1952 - This house on Scott Ave. is the last of three houses we lived in while in Stillwater. During the summer, I would wake up before sunrise and go out in our front yard to listen to the loud clicking sounds of the cicadas in our tree.

Ice cream party in anticipation of leaving Oklahoma. The term my mom would use was "Let's blow this joint!"

1952 - We packed our bags and headed back to California.

1952 - While mom and dad were looking for a permanent home for us, we moved into our grandparents' house (mom's) on Ellendale in Los Angeles. Our cousins, Winnie and Judy were also living there.

1952 - This is the back yard at grandma's. Mom, my aunt Joan and two of their brothers and a cousin are in this photo. Besides Butch, the bulldog (family pet), the family monkey is in the cage (the parrot is in the house). I don't know if it was because of all the fun crazy stuff going on around this house, but my imagination was being fueled on an hourly basis. One night, looking out our bedroom window, my bother Mark and I saw a witch on her broom flying across the moon... and it wasn't even Holloween!

1952 - Mom and dad buy our first (and last for us kids) single family home on Hoback street in Bellflower, California.

1954 - I would walk one block to C.C. Carpenter school for kindergarten and first grade. While digging in the sandbox in kindergarten, I struck the wooden bottom in the sand and thought it was the door to hell (I was raised Catholic). Knowing that the devil was just on the other side of that wood, I covered it back up and never went back into 'the box'. The first graders would press their faces up against the chain link fence that separated us from them and they would chant "kindergarten babies, born in the gravy." I was already dealing with the pig farm theory, so this gravy thing was a little disturbing. Little did I know, that in one year's time, I'd have my shiny first grade face pressed up against that same chain link fence, and chanting that same thing to those kindergarten babies... oh yes, and also "don't go in the sandbox."

Carol La Gette - Each day as I walked to kindergarten, I crossed over Foster Road and into the city of Downey. Little did I know, just a mile and half away, there was a 1 year old blonde Downey girl just waiting to be my wife.


The beginning of my art career (6 years old) and my first inclination to surrealism. This is my crayon on paper study of "Policeman On Horse, Arresting Six Foot Tall Intoxicated Duck."

1956 - My brother Brian joined the family in 1955 and can be seen here sitting in dad's lap on a family picnic. Dad loved setting his camera on timer and we'd all crack up as he raced to get into the photo.

1956 - Christmas and a photo with Santa was always a big deal. By now we all knew that dad was Santa, but we'd get the picture taken anyway... A couple of years earlier we hopped into the car and went to a nursery to buy our Christmas tree. Santa was supposed to be there. Mark and I caught Saint Nick with his beard pulled under his neck, having a cigarette behind the potting shed. Bad Santa told the two of us to "get the F#%k out of here!" and dad became Santa after that.

This drawing, which shows a little boy pointing at Santa and calling him "Daddy", followed the bad Santa incident. I was beginning to use my art to document historical passages in my life.

1957 - Third grade produced two memorable milestones in my childhood.

First, I joined the Cub Scouts which I thought was very cool. Hats, neckerchiefs and artsy craft projects at the afterschool meetings... and usually a great snack. That was the best.

Second, I was caught cheating on a multiplication table math test. My third grade teacher, Sister Lucy, used her hardwood pointer on my knuckles in front of the class to teach me not to cheat. I don't know if it was the fear of the pointer that set me straight or the embarrassment, but I relied on my own math skills after that.

1958 - Here's Brian about 3 years old. Maureen, Mark and I were going to St. Dominic Savio, a Catholic elementary school about a mile from our house. We peddled our bikes to school, learned the latest torturing techniques from the nuns, peddled back home and then tortured Brian. It's a wonder that he survived his childhood.

1958 was also the first baseball season in Los Angeles for the Dodgers. Dad took me to my first major league game that year and I still remember how excited I was at school that day. I had a stack of Dodger baseball cards in my pocket all day so that I knew all the players' names by game time.

1959 - Dad worked all week and for a period of time he would paint watercolors on location on the weekend. This farm scene was painted in Cerritos (called Dairy Valley at the time). When dad returned home that day, his shoes were covered in cow stuff and we thought that was very cool.

Mom would have dad take Mark and me with him when he painted along the coast. I remember this day when we were with him in San Pedro. Mark and I were skipping rocks just in front of these tugboats and dad told us to stop so that he could study the reflections in the water. That was a great day.

Dad gave away most of his paintings as gifts to friends. I asked him why he didn't sell them and he told me that art was hard to sell and that was why he became a graphic designer. He saved a few watercolors, hung them around the house and forty some years later gave Carol and me these two paintings (above).

1960 - Baseball ruled our neighborhood streets all year long. There wasn't a car on the block that didn't have a dent in it from a hardball.

1960 - Jill was born, completing our family of seven.

Christmas, 1960.

1962 -In seventh grade, I made the local paper with this drawing. I'm raising my hand in the drawing as Sister Mary Helen calls on me. If you look closely, you can see my bruised knuckles from 1958.

1963 - For my 13th birthday (8th grade) I chipped in my savings towards my present (we had a $10 birthday allowance), so that I could get a Jerry Mahoney dummy. I had always been facinated by ventriloquists and decided this would be my life's work. For the next two years I would do my act around the local area, winning talent contests with my sidekick, 'Dino'. On my first paid gig in 1964, the man who drove me home after my act tossed a quarter at me as payment for the night and drove off. I was crushed. I threw the quarter into the night and the next morning took poor ol' Dino onto our tetherball court in the backyard and lit him on fire. Dino would be resurrected in 1969, when I rebuilt him with surfboard resin and fiberglass, making him into an aging professor. He (and I) was a hit at all our beer parties.

Pitching for St. Dominic Savio's 8th grade team in 1963.

Thinking that I was going to be a pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, I needed a job that would keep my throwing arm in shape. I had been helping an older neighborhood boy with his newspaper route since I was 12, filling in for him whenever he needed someone. At age 13 he handed over his route of 100 customers to me and I began chucking papers into screen doors all over my neighborhood. It obviously didn't build my pitching arm into a professional career, but the $50 a month built up my bank account and set me up to purchase a motorcycle when I was 15 1/2.

1965 - Here's the seven of us. I attended St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower for 9th and 10th grades and transferred to Downey High School beginning my Junior year. St. John Bosco didn't have any art classes. I went to my first art class as a junior and was so intimidated that I transferred into a study period.

1965 - The five of us gathering around my first motor vehicle, a Honda 90 Sport.

After 3 years of delivering the Herald Examiner, I moved from the newspaper business into the food industry. On my 16th birthday, I was hired as a box boy at Alpha Beta. Now I could bring mom's hair dye home on a daily basis.

1966 - Surfing just north of Ensenada, Mexico. Mark and I would surf throughout high school, mostly at lifeguard station #23, Bolsa Chica State Beach.

1967 - Graduation, Downey High.

1968 - Music, art and the Vietnam War all dominated the news when I entered college in 1967. I continued playing music while trying to take my first art class at California State University Long Beach. Unable to petition into an art class, I took whatever I could get to keep my college deferment. With classes that didn't seem as important as the rock band playing out on the hillside of the campus, I was put on scholastic probation after my freshman year. My transfer to Cerritos Junior College allowed me to start studying art for the first time.

1969 - Carol and I met in 1968. I was playing bass guitar and singing vocals in The Plastic Diversion, a popular band in our area. I saw her white hair and lips glowing in the black lights at Zax's Coffee House while I was singing a Bob Dylan song. I played in three more bands prior to becoming the lead singer in a Lakewood band called Plumgoo. We played New Year's Eve, 1970, at The Marina Palace in Seal Beach, which would be the last time I would play in a rock n' roll band.

While I was loving my art classes at Cerritos in my Sophomore year, my political science class was reduced from a 3 unit class to 2 units. In the Fall of 1969, I lost my military deferment and was drafted into the Army.

1970 - After talking to some seasoned Vietnam vets, I decided to join the United States Marine Corps in February. This photo is of Brian and me in the backyard of our Hoback street home. While in bootcamp in San Diego, with about 80% of our training completed, our company was sitting outside a building after some aptitude tests. A woman Marine asked the company of 300 if anyone knew how to draw. About 30 hands went up in the air and we were marched into an empty classroom. We were each handed one sheet of ruled loose leaf paper and a 6h pencil (equivilent to a lead pipe) and was told that we had one hour to draw. As she slammed the door, the 30 of us looked at each other and asked "Draw what?" I noticed that some of the guys around me were drawing cars and one was drawing a tree. As we were all on the verge to go to Vietnam, I wondered why the Marine Corps needed someone who could draw. Surely they didn't need car designers or botonists. I proceeded to draw a Marine Corps poster, with block letters casting shadows in the sky, Marines charging over a hill with their M-16's and a tank bringing up the rear. A few minutes after the papers were collected and inspected, I was given an MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) of 1461. This was a Marine artist and they needed one at Camp Smith, on Oahu in Hawaii...

1971 - My job for the next two years was to design and build various props to be used to decorate the Waikiki Hawaiian Hilton for the Officers' Marine Corps Ball. In conjuction with the Ball, I would also be in charge of anything art related that came down from headquarters. Seen here is a 3 star general's birthday cake top that I made out of styrofoam and plaster. Camp Smith was the headquarters for the Fleet Marine Force Pacific and it wasn't unusual for a general to drop in and ask if I could do some 'art' as a gift for someone.

My dad shipped my surfboard to me and I surfed the entire island with another Marine from Huntington Beach.

I bought a 1967 Triumph Tiger and saw every corner of the island. There were free helicopter shuttles to the other islands that no one on my base was taking advantage of, so I did. The Chinook helicopter could accommodate my motorcycle, which made traveling great.

While snorkeling on the west shore during my first month on Oahu, I met John, a Japanese man who had squated on a piece of beach since leaving the Japanese Navy after World War II. He had a military tent, a wall locker and a cot from 1940's wartime, and he fed himself by gilnetting fish right in front of his campground. After helping him with his nets for a couple of weekends, he invited me to put up my own tent since I was sleeping on the open sand in my sleeping bag. I spent a great deal of my free time there. John was superstitious about having his picture made, so I left my camera on base. On my last day with him, he let me take one photo and...

...in 1979, I painted this watercolor, "John, West Shore, Oahu" from that photograph. That same year, this 22" x 30" transparent watercolor was shown at the San Diego Watercolor Society Exhibition which was juried by Millard Sheets.

1972 - This is Carol's parents' house on Cornuta Ave. in Downey where she grew up. When I came home from the Marine Corps, I spent a few months living with some ol' buddies of mine and in late 1972 moved into Carol's living room. Her parents were the best. I was going to Cerritos College and spending all my free time grinding on my art projects. Although I loved the fine arts, I was taking mostly graphic design classes because my father told me "You can't make a living as a fine artist."

In her parents' backyard was Carol's playhouse-turned-storage shed full of this and that. Her dad let me clean it out and install an additional window.

I moved in all my art supplies, a drafting table and ran an extension cord from the garage. This became my first art studio and it worked great.

1973 - For 6 months, I lived in her parents living room and did my school work in my new studio.

In my last semester at Cerritos College, I took my first watercolor class and painted from magazine photos. This Greek Orthodox priest is my final project and my first watercolor.

On April 7, 1973, I got off of her parents' couch, and married Carol at St. Dominic Savio church. We moved into an apartment in Cypress, California. I transferred back to Cal State Long Beach, continuing my study in graphic design. While in my senior year I was told that there weren't going to be any jobs available when I graduated. A friend told me about a job opening in Laguna Beach at Mission Printing Company. I quit school, took the job and we moved to an apartment in Costa Mesa for a couple of months before we purchased our first home in El Toro. In 1974 we moved into our first new house in Mission Viejo. We immediately turned one of the rooms into my studio and I began to paint watercolors in the evening hours after work.

Among other things, my job at Mission Printing involved designing artists' catalogs for Challis Galleries in Laguna Beach. Challis represented the best watercolorists in California, and I was able to meet and talk to each artist (like Rex Brandt) when they came in to proof their catalogs. They all told me to keep painting and to enter my work into national watercolor competitions. In 1977, itching for a change and feeling driven to paint, I left the printing company and took a graphic design job in Newport Beach. After ten miserable days with an overbearing boss, I quit and drove home. It was my 28th birthday and I decided that I couldn't work for anyone anymore. I told Carol that I wanted to be a full time painter and that I would start my own graphic design business to help pay the bills until I could sell my art.

1977 - "Lawnbowler, Laguna Beach"
This was the painting I was completing on the day that I quit my 10 day job. It was the first watercolor that I painted from my own photographs.

1978 - Brady Scott Moore was born. Carol had been a dental assistant since she was 16, working full time through all my schooling and job jumping. She continued to work after Brady was born.

1978 - "Waiting With Friends"
This was the first painting I entered into a competition, which was accepted into the American Watercolor Society's 1978 exhibition in New York.

That same year, I was asked to teach a watercolor class at Saddleback College. Although I had the ability to put an image on paper, I wasn't quite sure how to explain how I got there. After a visit to the college library, I found a book by watercolorist, John Pike. Mr. Pike's humor, limited palette of colors and incredible draftsmanship was just what I needed. My box of 50 pigments was reduced to 8, and I actually understood what I was doing for the first time. His book talked of his summer workshops, so I wrote him and asked if there was an opening. As it turned out, there were two openings, so I made the trip to Woodstock, New York with my dad. Dad had stopped painting 25 years ago and was getting the urge to get back to painting in watercolor. It was the most inspirational week of my artist life. That same summer, I exhibited my work for sale at the Art-A-Fair Festival in Laguna Beach.


The John Pike Watercolor School, 1978

John Pike with his proudest student.

1979 - "We're Just Looking"
My first watercolor, after my week in Woodstock with John Pike. I entered this painting in the National Watercolor Society's Annual Exhibition that year and was elected into the society as a signature member.

Challis Galleries in Laguna Beach asked to show my watercolors and I joined the gallery. I really enjoyed selling the work myself, especially meeting the clients, so the summer festival felt more comfortable to me. After a few months with Challis, I left and we moved to Laguna Beach. I needed more exposure for my paintings, and the Festival of Arts Fine Arts Exhibition in Laguna could do just that.


My experience with John Pike prompted me to start demonstrating the watercolor process wherever I went.


Outdoor art shows on weekends in Palos Verdes and Palm Springs gave me the venue to sell my art and explain the step-by-step process to the public.


Eventually, I started my own watercolor workshops and taught weekend classes of 30 in a room at Laguna Beach High School. I would travel to various art organizations with my overhead mirror and share my technique.

1980
"Sunday Morning, Balboa", 22"x30", Transparent Watercolor


"Two Of A Kind, Balboa Pavilion", 22"x30", Transparent Watercolor

1980 marked the beginning of what my life as an artist would be for at least the next 32 years. I would paint all year (September to July) and then display and sell my paintings at the Festival of Arts during the months of July and August. The Pageant of the Masters would draw over 2000 people a night, filling the exhibit area with prospective customers. It proved to be the perfect venue for my work. In 1980, my watercolors were simple statements about day to day living, and using the local coastline for my imagery came natural. I painted in a pale manner, allowing the light to fill the paper.

1981 - "The Big Catch"


In 1981, the Festival of Arts commissioned me to paint the watercolor, "The Big Catch," for the 1982 Pageant of the Masters. This was the first time I employed models to pose for a painting.

Traveled to New York to receive the Walser S. Greathouse medal from the American Watercolor Society. Was subsequently elected as a signature member later that year.

Elected into Watercolor West as a signature member.

1982 - "Sally's, Avalon"
Began painting interior settings as my interest in reflective light and dim light images increased.

1983 - "Oyster Bar, New York"
My first night scene watercolor, painted in April of 1983 from a photograph I took while in New York in 1981.

Our biggest event in 1983 was the birth of our daughter, Hayley. She was born during the summer festival season, so I took this Polaroid of her 3 days after she was born and hung it in my booth with the rest of my creations.

"Box Seat"
In the fall of 1983, the Laguna Art Museum mailed a cardboard box to 50 regional artists, asking them to use the box in a work of art. This gave me the opportunity to reveal the whimsical imagery that had been in my mind for many years. "Box Seat" was my first surreal watercolor and a very popular live auction item.

1984
"The Many Levels Of Tubular Lawnbowling In Heisler Park"

The fall of 1984 brought another Laguna Art Museum auction and another object (a mailing tube) to work with. The popularity of this image prompted me to begin thinking of introducing this new imagery into my day to day painting. I would continue donating a whimsical watercolor to the annual museum auction for the next two years.

1985 - "Two Ol' Salts"
This was the first 'non auction' surreal image that I painted. It was purchased by a good friend and artist, so it was never displayed in public.

"Evaporated Milk"
Although I was still painting my traditional watercolors, when this image was completed, I took it down to my exhibit space at the Festival of Arts and hung it with my other work. I hung in on the wall and stuck the price tag on the wall next to it. As I backed away to see how it looked hanging next to its traditional counterparts, two women looked at my asking price and gasped "He wants $1,500 for that?" As my heart sunk with their comments, a man standing behind me whispered over my shoulder, "Did she say that painting was only $1,500?" He bought it on the spot. I would continue to alternate between real and surreal for five more years.

1985 also marked the first time I used Brady as a model in one of my paintings. Here he is on the Balboa Pier looking through one of the old coin operated telescopes.

1989 - I begin using Brady and Hayley together in paintings. Here they are on a private dock on Balboa Island.

"The Fabulous Flying Ronzonis"
After posing out in the street in front of our house, I placed the kids atop a box of popcorn in this circus related image.


Carol would begin to pose for my surreal paintings, as she is doing here for...

"Shoeflies Don't Bother Me"

And here for...

"Taxitime"
I would continue to visit past traditional paintings of mine, and look at them with a new twist.


As Brady and Hayley grew up, I was able to use them as teenagers in paintings.


They eventually became adult models. Hayley coaxed her friend, Tim, to pose in the photo on the right.


Carol's parents, Frieda and 'Frenchie' LaGette were also brought into the Moore Modeling Agency.


I also got into the act, becoming whatever character I needed on the spur of the moment.

1990
"Preparing The Catch", 40"x 96", Oil on Linen

This was my first oil painting. The summer exhibition of art at the Festival of Arts was instrumental in a couple of ways. Not only did it give me the opportunity to show and sell my work, but it actually forced my hand into another medium. The first year that my booth space was positioned where the sun hit the paintings in the morning, the glass covering my watercolors fogged up and damaged the matting. I hung shades over the front of the display and had to raise and lower them every day to protect the paintings. I loved the display space so I decided to teach myself to paint in oil so that I wouldn't have to deal with the sun. On the day that I was applying my first layer of oil on my first trial canvas in the corner of my studio, a corporate client and their design consultant dropped by my studio. The consultant saw my first attempt (on a 20"x24" canvas) and asked me to paint an eight foot long version of the image (the painting above). It was baptism by fire and I learned to paint in oil.

1998 - 25th Anniversary
I alternated between oil and watercolor from 1990-2011, using the same palette of colors for each medium.

2000 - 2002 Elected to the board of the Festival of Arts and served as president for 2 years.

2004 - 2014 President of the Festival of Arts Foundation

2011
On April 1, The Laguna Beach Alliance for the Arts, presented me with the Art Stars Award for Artist of the Year.

2012 - After 31 years, I decided to stop exhibiting at the Sawdust Festival during the summer and concentrate on painting commissions. I continued to display my work at the Festival of Arts.

2013 - With many requests for commissioned paintings, I've put my spec work on the back burner and have opened my studio to clients asking me to tell their stories on canvas.

2014 - Alternating between commissioned work and my personal work.

 

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To be continued...

 

email:scott@scottmooreart.com