Wesley Palms Resident
In 1968, following his graduation from Dickinson College, True taught agriculture as a Peace Corps Volunteer in a remote village in the foothills of Nepal.
Returning to the U.S. in 1970, he worked for four years with the Hawthorne Dominicans, an order of Roman Catholic sisters serving terminally ill cancer patients. Armed with that experience, True embarked on what was to become a 35-year career as one of the pioneers of the North American hospice movement. During that time, he became a “first generation” nurse practitioner with a Master’s in Public Health, functioning as a clinician and executive in emerging leadership hospices. He has served on the boards of national organizations and think tanks dedicated to advancing dignified end of life care. Upon his retirement in 2007, he was awarded the Hospice Founders Award by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.
“2007,” True says “marked the end of a meaningful First Act. Service. And I couldn’t wait to start Act Two. Art.” True subsequently studied with numerous professional artists.
“I took classes and workshops from classically trained artists who’d been painting for decades. I acquired the techniques to paint decent representational work, but I’d always been more interested in the poetry of abstract art. My teachers’ lessons about composition, color theory and light values are, however, in the forefront of my mind when I work on pieces such as those on display here.’
“As a precisionist, I have also enjoyed discovering my ‘relatives’ in the history of art. For example, a painting in this display, “Inspiration Point” is based on a complex straight-edged geometric pattern engraved in red ochre by an ancient artist capable of abstract thought. The artifact was one of many recently discovered in the Blombas Cave in South Africa and reliably dated at over 70,000 years BC. I was stunned by the date, and the mystery of the pattern’s purpose…as were a number of archaeologists.’
“Alone in my studio, I am often aware of my artistic lineage and the vocabulary I share with recent teachers, artists of the last century and distant millennia. Like many before me, I pursue a sense of composure, using arresting forms and narratives. Even when the images are still, something is happening: they are neither static nor mute. Shadows are falling, angles unfolding, squares are emerging or receding. The inferred meanings of the images change with the lives of their viewers, day by day. Their quiet dynamism causes them to ‘live well.’”
True and his husband Jim have recently celebrated their 50th Anniversary at Wesley Palms, where they have lived since 2020. He paints nearly every morning in his Mount Soledad studio in La Jolla
The Singing School