Scott Idleman was born in Stamford, Connecticut, grew up in Mississippi, and Illinois, eventually moving to New York City before settling in San Francisco where he’s resided since 1992.

He attended Cleveland Art Institute for Foundations then Kansas City Art Institute where he received a B.F.A. in Graphic Design with minors in fibers, photography and painting.

Artist Statement

I have always been a doodler since childhood, the by-product of a chattering mind. Back then I would create intricate mandalas in my school notebooks, circular patterns made up of motifs such as seashells or elements from a King Tut exhibit I attended. When I started painting again after many years as a graphic designer, I wanted to tap into that childhood energy of creating imaginary worlds utilizing my new influences—microscopic imagery, aerial views, astronomy, maps, vintage quilts, patterns in nature, contemporary Aboriginal art—to make fine art pieces. I try to reduce my mark-making to simple shapes such as circles and grids, something I find both primitive and modern at the same time. The repetition and rhythm of these elements have endless possibilities for me to create and get lost in other worlds as well as express myself.

All of my paintings are executed with thickened colored gesso applied to the surface with squeeze bottles so that the marks are raised when dry. The texture and relief effect creates light and shadows which change in different light. This technique also invites touching the art (for some artists a no-no), but I encourage my viewers to touch and connect with the feel of the surface. Each painting has a unique personality, some gently undulating while others are sharp and rigid to the touch. Thematically, my body of work is about connectivity. In a world more connected than ever because of technology there is a flow of communication but also isolation without personal interactions. My intention is to convey these flows, collisions, overlaps, and missed connections with simple mark-making. 

Group Exhibits

2018 — DZINE Gallery presents: Cracking Nutshells. DZINE, 128 Utah St., San Francisco, CA. May 4 - Oct. 26, 2018

2018 — SLATE Art Consulting's "Patterns in Nature" exhibit at the San Ramon Valley Conference Center, San Ramon, CA. April 13 - July 12, 2018 

2018 — Artspan's juried Benefit Art Auction, SOMAarts gallery, San Francisco

2017 — ArtSpan Art-in-Neighborhood exhibit at the Marker Hotel, San Francisco

2017 — 21st Annual Art for AIDS juried auction, San Francisco. Sponsored by UCSF Alliance Health Project

2013 — Chillin' Productions at 111 Minna Gallery, San Francisco. Curated by Irene Hernandez-Feils

Solo Exhibits

2016 — Sundance Kabuki gallery, San Francisco. Sponsored by StudioVox

2013 — Hotel Triton, San Francisco - “All Things Considered” solo painting and drawing exhibit sponsored by McKinley Art Solutions.

2010 — The Producer’s Loft, San Francisco - Solo exhibit in commercial photo/video space

Permanent Collections

2018 — CPMC Sutter Health Cathedral Hill Hospital purchase of two paintings

2015 — commission for San Francisco corporate headquarters


2017    Artist profile published on Arts Business Institute blog:

2014 — Home and artwork featured in December issue of Mollie Makes magazine.


2017-18 — Room & Board, San Francisco. Part of ArtSpan's Open Studios exhibit at the showroom.

2013-14 — Roche Bobois, San Francisco. Exhibited and sold paintings to accompany furniture in Design Center showroom .