Born in 1962 and raised in Studio City, California Purchin started painting seriously when he was 16. While in high school, he won a Bank of America Award for a painting of a construction worker in pink. Purchin developed an individual major at UC Santa Cruz entitled, The Arts and Social Action. Through this major, he created art exhibits and experiences in which participants were encouraged to interact with the art. For instance, in one installation viewers wore masks as they walked through a three-dimensional painting.
This interactive process continues with Purchin’s current work. He paints directly from life, often in public places. He created an oil painting at the 2009 Inauguration of President Obama. When painting dancescapes, Purchin often dances before and during the painting process. This also can be true when he paints other moving bodies such as water and plants in the wind. Purchin has created interactive works at First Night Santa Cruz and Art on the Avenues.
Purchin is the founder of A Thousand Artists which is a public art making installation which will occur on Monday January 21st, 2013 in Washington D.C. The Presidential Inauguration will be proceeding and right nearby there will be legions of people in white jumpsuits and orange hats quietly making art, no matter who is president and no matter what the weather is. See www.athousandartists.com for more information.
Purchin has been an artist in residence with The Fields Project on two occasions in which he lived on farms in Ogle County, Illinois sharing his art process with the farmers as he painted scenes from their lives. Purchin’s work has been published in American Artist and in the Santa Cruz Cultural Council Calendar for 2007-2008. Purchin was awarded a partial fellowship to Vermont Studio Center where he was artist in residence in 2005. Purchin’s work has been exhibited and honored in many venues including The Triton Museum in Santa Clara, Lana Santorelli Gallery in NYC (Chelsea), The Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, the Santa Cruz Art League, Oswald, The Santa Cruz Institute of Contemporary Arts, Sanchez art center, Atelier Gallery, Davenport Gallery and R. Blitzer Gallery. Purchin is a Santa Cruz County Open Studios participant.