Howard Behrens' paintings are distinctively textured and brilliantly illuminated land and seascapes evoking memories of romantic interludes in exotic settings, often encompassing familiar architecture and promenades. The artist developed his current painting style from his lifelong passion for travel: "I only paint the places I've actually been to...the beaches, the mountains... places that are a part of my life." The Italian and French Rivieras, Mediterranean, Lake Como, San Francisco are well-travelled and the viewer is transported directly into the heart of the locale through an immediacy in technique and explicit perspective.
Originally determined to study medical illustration after receiving his undergraduate degree in painting, the artist changed his mind and altered course when Johns Hopkins' program required waiting an additional year; he continued painting, receiving a master's degree. However, prior to committing his undivided energies to painting, Behrens worked as the Chief Artist/Designer in the Government Printing Office in Washington, D.C. Since his first solo exhibition in 1980, Behrens has exhibited extensively and is included in private and corporate collections in both the United States and Europe.
Howard Behrens was born in Chicago Illinois in 1933. He turned to painting to pass the time when, at 17 years, he was bedridden after breaking his leg in a sledding accident. He eventually earned his Masters degree in painting and sculpture from the University of Maryland. He paints tirelessly in his studio at his Northeastern home, working quickly and bolding, to avoid approaches he describes as over-calculated or too computerized.
When he isn't painting, Behrens pursues other interests with equal fervor. Thoroughbred horse racing, model trains, and of course, trips to the shore. The shore can be anywhere-Bethany Beach in Delaware, or Santorini in the Grecian Islands. He is never far from the sea. On his trips to the seaside he always carries his camera. With his camera, he records the images that he will take to his studio to transform into paintings.