Loran Speck: December 16, 1943 to September 16, 2011
Loran was born in Stockton, CA in 1943. Loran distinguished himself early in life as an athlete, playing football for Oregon State University on a full scholarship, excelling in many track-and-field events. Bill Walsh wrote him to consider playing football at UC Berkley, but the beauty of the Oregon State campus had more appeal for him. Loran had no idea he had any talent as an artist until, as a pre-dentistry major, he enrolled in a science illustration class. It was there that he discovered the intricate detailing for which he would become known in the art world. He has been honored with featured articles in US Art and Art of the West. Southwest Art Magazine described him as a “tour de force of the trompe l’oeil technique, tinged with a reverence for the old masters.” A self-described “natural realist,” Loran believed that his work perfectly reflected many aspects of his personality, including his simplicity and love of quiet intimacy. Part of the Carmel community since 1977, Loran was known not only for his masterful talent, but also for being humble and gracious, a truly kind man who was hugely respected by every gallery owner and the many artists of Carmel.
Loran’s gentle spirit, kindheartedness, and enormous talent will always be remembered.
Gene Speck: December 19, 1936 to Present
Gene was born in South Dakota in 1936. He grew up in California but developed a love for the wide open countryside and more of a private, peaceful, simple life. Gene worked in his father’s bakery until going into the military. He began to paint seriously at the age of thirty-five and is completely self-taught without formal training. Gene embarked on his career in the early 1970s in Northern California. He watched his brother Loran selling his work successfully in local art shows. He realized his love and passion that poured into his art and began selling his work in Bay Area street shows. He lived a meager existence while honing his craft. After a few years, a San Francisco Gallery offered to represent him. After that, more and more galleries took notice to his work and wanted to exhibit his art. He has had a plethora of shows, awards, and honors for his achievements. Collectors were stunned by the photorealistic detail and refinement he displayed in every painting, which separated him from other artists in the market and contributed to his overwhelming success. Gene Speck is a gentle, simple man. His art relies on the heightened consciousness that comes from putting a part of himself into each painting so completely that, as he says, he would “rather be there than in the here and now”. He gets very still, very quiet, and absorbs what he sees. The resulting works of art go beyond realism. They are real, in the purest and most basic sense of the word.