Zdrale has been painting since his teens –first with oil, followed by acrylics and then, for about the last 40 years, mainly in watercolor. He also uses water-mixable oils for some paintings. He usually alternates between working in water color and oils. His “cycle” so far seems to be a change every two years.
Since retiring from public education 14 years ago, Zdrale has been able to not only to work on his own paintings, but to teach some classes. He has taught watercolor at Friendship Place for about 13 years as well as classes at the Trout Museum for 4 years.
Zdrale is attracted to outdoor scenes usually with some type of architectural element in them. He likes the effects of strong light and shadow. Bold contrasts in color and illumination are what make a painting come alive for him. Zdrale’s role models are Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper and John Singer Sargent, in that order. It’s interesting to note that all three painted in oil and in watercolor just as he does. While Zdrale has many avocational interests and does a lot of volunteer work, art is, by far, his greatest love.