Quent Cordair was born in 1964 in southern Illinois and was raised “under a church pew” in a fundamentalist Christian sect. Though his family moved regularly—the grass always being greener—it would nearly always be to a town with a church of their denomination close by. It was insular community, in which the devout were forbidden the enjoyment of movies, pop music, television, school sports, alcohol, jewelry, makeup, skirts shorter than knee length and most other temporal pleasures worth mentioning. It may not be a coincidence that the writer and artist now resides and works, quite happily, in Napa, California—the heart of the wine country—where with his wife, Linda, he enjoys some of the world’s best wine and food, and owns an art gallery brimming with lovely nudes and other sensuous delights. When not painting for the gallery, he writes romantic, adventurous fiction that celebrates a markedly different perspective of life on earth than the one under which he was raised.
While many things in his youth were proscribed, the reading of fiction was not—an oversight, no doubt, by church authorities—for it was amidst the library shelves that the eyes of a young man were opened to a marvelous and exciting world beyond the church’s walls. He immersed himself in boys’ mystery books and was captivated by the stories of Stevenson, Defoe, Wyss, and Doyle. In his mid-teens, he was discovering the dramatic tales of Fleming, Follet, Sienkiewicz and Hugo, and would soon bask in the ingenuity of O.Henry and the genius of Ayn Rand.
At seventeen, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps with the goal of becoming a career fighter pilot, but by the time he was accepted to attend the U.S. Naval Academy, he recognized that the only work that could ever truly satisfy him was the creation of the kind of visions that had inspired him through his youth. After completing his four-year enlistment, he launched his writing career.
His first short story was published in 1991 by the Atlantean Press Review. To support himself while writing, he waited tables, took employment as a security guard, stocked groceries and worked the graveyard shift at a mail-processing center. While working a desk job at an auction firm, he began seeking paying work more in line with his artistic proclivities. After teaching himself how to paint, he began taking portrait commissions while working at his easel in a local park and would soon be exhibiting at art fairs.
The Quent Cordair Fine Art gallery (www.cordair.com) was opened in 1996 in Burlingame, California, where the work of other painters and sculptors of like vision were offered in addition to Quent’s own portraiture, figuratives, landscapes and still lifes, which are now collected by an international clientele. Linda assumed management of the business as it continued to grow, with the square footage doubling in 2006, yet even this space proved to be too small.
In 2008, the Cordairs moved the gallery to a 3600 square-foot location in downtown Napa, where today they offer the finest selection of Romantic Realism in the world. Quent’s present efforts are devoted to his writing: in addition to publishing his short stories, he is completing a novel of grand scope inspired by his life’s journey and passions.
The Cordairs live in Napa with their two cats, Lexie and Sadie, and their adopted malamute-mix, Ruby.