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David Meffert: A Journey from the Court to the Canvas

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David Meffert, whose artistic journey took a unique and unexpected route, shifted from a promising basketball career to an advertising career. Eventually, David Meffert found his true passion in painting, creating a distinctive body of work that celebrates nature, landscapes, and even automobiles.

Meffert’s story begins in his high school years, where he excelled in two vastly different domains: art and sports. Initially, it seemed that his future would revolve around basketball, and his dream was to become a professional basketball player. However, fate had other plans in store for him.

After an unfortunate knee injury while playing college basketball at the prestigious University of Kansas (KU), Meffert decided to shift gears and explore the world of art. His transition into the art world was unconventional, as he pursued graphic arts instead of fine arts. This choice led him to Los Angeles, a city renowned for its creative energy, where he worked for some of the most illustrious advertising agencies in the industry.

Meffert’s time in the advertising world exposed him to the talents of exceptional photographers and illustrators, who inspired him to explore and improve his own drawing and photography skills. However, the journey back to his true passion, fine art, had to wait a bit longer.

It wasn’t until after his retirement that Meffert rekindled his artistic flame. Instead of dribbling a basketball, he found himself captivated by the landscapes and scenery of Denmark during summer trips with his wife, Pia. The grassy dunes, unique architecture, and the soothing ocean air of Lyngsa Strand became the muses for his artistry. His artistic journey began with watercolors, a medium he had dabbled in during college. This medium allowed him to dip his toes back into the world of art, gradually building confidence.

The next chapter of Meffert’s artistic journey unfolded when he relocated to Wilmington, North Carolina. It was there that he transitioned to oil painting, driven by the realization that there were artistic expressions he wished to convey that watercolor couldn’t capture. This duality in mediums, with watercolor for plein air works and oil for studio paintings, reflects the versatility and depth of his artistic exploration.

For David Meffert, painting has become his true passion, rivaling his love for Kansas basketball. You can often find him painting with friends in Wilmington or engrossed in his artwork amidst the dunes of Denmark. The hectic life of working in advertising for 45 years and raising two sons in a small beach town left little room for leisure, but it was his escapes into nature—be it surfing in the South Bay, motorcycle rides in the desert, or skiing local mountains with his boys—that laid the foundation for his current escape into painting.

One pivotal moment in Meffert’s artistic journey was the transition to Plein Air painting. As an Art Director, he was accustomed to working on multiple projects simultaneously, necessitating a need for speed and efficiency. This fast-paced approach carried over seamlessly into Plein Air painting, where an artist has only about two hours to conceptualize, sketch, and apply paint to capture the essence of a moment or scene.

Meffert’s artistic work can be defined by his penchant for painting in series, each focused on a specific theme or subject. His journey began with landscapes, where he skillfully depicted the beauty of nature and open spaces. Then, he turned his attention to seascapes, capturing the ever-changing moods of the ocean with his brushes.

However, Meffert’s creative spirit is not limited to natural landscapes alone. Drawing inspiration from his career in the advertising world, where he worked with some of the finest car photographers in the industry, he found a newfound appreciation for the aesthetics of automobiles. His current series explores the allure of cars and trucks, paying homage to the elegance of metal, steel, and glass.

The latest chapter in David Meffert’s artistic story takes us on a journey through city streets and countryside hikes, where he encounters unique vehicles. His artwork breathes life into these machines, offering a fresh perspective on the beauty that surrounds us in everyday life. Pieces like “No Parking,” featuring a ’52 GMC Pickup found during a hike in the Hollywood Hills, or “Rusty Bird,” portraying a ’62 ThunderBird discovered on the back roads of Upstate New York, exemplify his ability to infuse personality and charm into inanimate objects.

In addition to these explorations, Meffert has also taken on commission work, such as “Sexy Red Speedster.” These commissions showcase his dedication to understanding and translating the essence of his subjects, no matter how varied they may be.

David Meffert’s artistic journey is a testament to the unpredictability of life and the beauty of embracing one’s true passions. He may have started as a budding basketball player and then ventured into the world of advertising, but his artistic evolution has been nothing short of extraordinary. His ability to capture the essence of nature, landscapes, and automobiles on canvas is a testament to his enduring dedication and the joy he finds in the art of creation. Today, as he embarks on new artistic adventures, Meffert’s work continues to be a source of inspiration and wonder for all those who encounter it.

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