Jesse Don Rasberry
American, b. 1940
Jesse Don Rasberry was born on November 10, 1940 in rural, picturesque Oklahoma. Shortly after his birth, his family relocated to California, living a short while in Palm Springs, before eventually settling in the grape-growing region of Lodi in San Joaquin County. Later, the family moved a short distance south to Stockton, California, where Rasberry’s father supported the group as a builder and carpenter. They would remain in the Stockton/Lodi area throughout Rasberry’s adolescent and formative years.
Essentially self-taught, Rasberry received some instruction from the late Bill Warden of Texas. On occasion, he paints with other artists during classes and on plein air painting excursions, as with Ning Hou and Dennis Westerling of Northern California. Rasberry is inspired by the Texas artists Frank Reaugh, Olin Herman Travis, Robert Wood, Porfirio Salinas, and Julian Onderdonk. In California, the work of the great impressionist Maurice Braun holds special mention as being of inspiration to Rasberry.
Rasberry has exhibited his paintings at juried art shows near his studio, such as at the Stockton Unitarian Church Art Show and at the Mayor’s Art Show in Lathrop, California; at the latter, in April, 2008, he received the Sponsor’s Award. However, garnering awards for his artwork has never been a primary focus. The artist’s work can be found in private collections, galleries, fine art events, and major auctions in California and Texas.
A diverse artist, Rasberry paints primarily in oil in the impressionist style. His favorite compositions capture the intense light and the ever-present wildflowers of the California and Texas landscapes. His work is characterized by a bold use of vibrant color, heavy impasto, and painterly brushwork. His more stark, modernist compositions show similarities to the work of the late Birger Sandzen; in others, inspiration appears to come from the lyrical, approachable, bluebonnet-filled Texas vistas, captured decades earlier by Porfirio Salinas and Julian Onderdonk.