“I travel full-time with my wife and two sons and I find artistic inspiration wherever we go… the beauty of nature keeps me in awe and I strive to share this sense of wonder and delight through my paintings.”
Derek Alvarez has been creating art since he was 3 years old, so you can say it has been a lifelong passion. Growing up in the city, nature has always inspired Derek through childhood camping trips in the mountains, deserts, and beaches of Southern California. Derek combines his love of nature and travel with his love of Modern Art to create expressive, often whimsical paintings that are unique to his experiences of place through his travels.
Derek’s training was in oil painting, so he approaches his art with that background, but uses modern technology to create his “paintings”. The inspiration to go digital was brought about the first time Derek traveled abroad and experienced difficulty acquiring more supplies for his oil paintings. So, inspired by David Hockney, he bought an iPad and hasn’t looked back. Each piece is digitally painted by hand… no filters are used and no simulated brushstrokes are created. Many of his paintings take several hours, and sometimes, several hours a day for weeks to complete, and they are brought into existence through limited edition prints on metal.
Derek has overcome many challenges in life, including his biological father abandoning him as an infant and growing up in a bad neighborhood – surrounded by drugs, gangs, racism, and violence. Despite all this, Derek earned an art scholarship to the University of Arizona, focusing on oil painting, and graduated in 2004, Magna cum Laude. His mentors there include Alfred Quiroz, David Christiana, and Cerese Vaden. He began selling his oil paintings while still in college, exhibiting his work in Scottsdale, Arizona and New York City.
In recent years, some family tragedies, including nearly losing his wife and two infant sons from birthing complications and the loss of his stillborn daughter have reinforced Derek’s commitment to art and living life to the fullest. Since 2012, he has pioneered the use of digital media to create paintings. His work can be found in several public and private collections throughout the country. Currently, he is working as a full-time artist while traveling with his wife and two sons, and shipping his artwork throughout the world.