Gage Mace is an accomplished oil painter of many subjects. He paints figures, portraits, foreign scenes, jazz themes, and cityscapes. Growing up in Los Angeles, he had a career as a radio broadcaster before becoming an artist. Now besides painting, he teaches figure painting workshops and life drawing classes using his radio communitcation skills. In Los Angeles Gage studied in the classical European painting tradition with a Norwegian painter, Jan Saether, who spent twenty years there before returning to Norway. Gage has since followed his own explorations of texture, color, form, and composition while still crediting his studies with Saether as the backbone of his research into a singular style. Gage is also a writer and working on a series of novels about the life of a painter.
Gage loves painting the human figure above all. Nowadays, he works mostly from sketches, preferring gesture poses with vitality and interesting angles over inert long term poses. He never uses photographs, often painting whole figures from his imagination - an ability he says he acquired by attending life drawing workshops on a regular basis. "Drawing gestures from the live model is the aerobics of art", Gage says. "it's tai chi with a pencil." Gage will accept commissioned portrait work.
Gage Mace is world traveled, having made numerous visits to Spain, France, Holland, and Germany capturing many foreign scenes on canvas. Most recently, he visited Thailand for three months and wants to return to Southeast Asia to do more painting. He finds the Buddhist culture compatible with his painting philosophy; thus, in his classes he urges his students to let the artist stand outside the subject matter and let the painting paint itself.
Gage began a series of jazz paintings in 2001, working with a group of musicians performing in Portland's alternative jazz scene. His knowleged of the painting craft enables him to work intuitively in darkened clubs, capturing in three hour sessions the look and feel of jazz musicians at work. Gage likes to boast that, while not playing an instrument himself, he usually gets paid as a bandmember. His favorite compliments come from the musicians who say they can see the music in his paint.
Since moving to Portland, Oregon in 1990 for the cool, fresh air, Gage fell in love with Portland funk, and found a strong kinship with the city's urgent young art scene. Like his own painting, "the Portland scene is open and developing, with the visual arts in easy and overlapping relationship with dance, performance, music, and words-- a fluidity less available in rigid and more established scenes in America's older cities." Gage loves to paint what he calls "The Stumptown Chronicles," and has captured Portland's rapidly changing skyline by setting his easel up on rooftops, downtown parking structures and the street itself. He relies on direct experience to fill his cityscape canvases.