Malcolm Douglas Tuffnell

Malcolm Tuffnell has been a captive of the magic of ballet from a young age.

Mr. Tuffnell’s work evokes the fantasy world of the ballet stage, through his own poetic interpretations of the great ballets, such as the Nutcracker, Swan Lake, La Sylphide, and Giselle. The works are not meant to literally depict dancers and the ballet from a realist perspective, a la Degas, but rather from an imaginary viewpoint, as if one were in a romantic landscape of the mind, populated by swan ballerinas, clowns, and dancing snowflakes.

In these densely painted works, layers of opaque paint are overlaid with other layers of transparent paint or glazes, in the manner of the Old Masters, creating a dense inner glow, a poetic atmosphere that communicates to the viewer the emotion of the dance.

Malcolm Tuffnell is a midcareer talent in contemporary painting, now in his 35th year of painting. He describes his work as “romantic impressionism”. From 1977-1979 Mr. Tuffnell attended the University of California, Santa Barbara and studied with noted teacher Gary Brown; while going to school there he traveled to Europe, where he was inspired to a life as an artist.

He attended the prestigious School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, graduating with honors. At the School he won the Liquitex Fine Arts Materials Award in 1987. Returning to his birthplace, Santa Barbara, he took first prize at the Best of the Best of Santa Barbara County in 1991.

The artist would like to thank Dusty and Kathleen Davison of Los Angeles, CA for their material support of this exhibition.

Mr. Tuffnell has shown in many galleries in California and Massachusetts, including Founder’s Room, Granada Theater, Santa Barbara; Tah Gallery, Pasadena; Visions Gallery, Morro Bay; Gallery 333, North Falmouth, MA; the Orlando Gallery, Los Angeles;; Spectrum Gallery, Sacramento; Goldfield Galleries, Los Angeles; Galerie at Newport Beach; and Art Brut, Los Alamos. He is a longtime member of the Santa Barbara Art Association. In 2015 his ballet-themed work was selected to be exhibited at the prestigious Thousand Oaks Center for the Performing Arts, in the four artist show, “Captivating”, and was featured online on the Ventura County Star news site.


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