Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Reviving of my offering to paint "Sporting Portraits!"

I have gone thru a metamorphosis as an artist, starting
out as a wildlife artist of reputation winning Wisconsin's
1984 Wildlife Artist of the Year, then on going state,
regional and national competitions placing as a finalist
or runner-up 23 of 34 times entered. My last win and
last time entering, the 1998 Wisconsin Inland Trout
Stamp competition.

Then about 14 years ago...I ran into a paradoxical wall
for myself. Here I was indoors painting about what I
loved outdoors. So much time spent on painting that I
literally had little time anymore to spend my time
outdoors. As a painter, it was a slow leak of that
which fueled me, and I needed to spend more time outdoors
without sacrificing my joy of painting.

The compromise was taking a portable easel outdoors, and
learn to paint from life. The vogue label for that today
is called "plein air" painting...that is French for
painting in the open air.

My style loosened up necessarily, as nature gives you a
very short window of opportunity, that is, the available
light quickly changes or disappears and can leave you the
painter standing there wondering "now what?"

My confidence with the brush over the past many years has
grown greatly, each stroke of paint intuitively found as
essential and necessary. I have evolved and grown as a

I thought my wildlife art and sporting portrait days of
old were behind me...but I can credit taking in a Carl
Rungius exhibition at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum
in Wausau, Wisconsin for breathing new life into me.

Rungius was the first professional career American wildlife
artist we have, also a hunter who traveled on horseback into
mountains to hunt bear, elk, muleys...and painted from life
studies of skins he caped out. He also painted on location
to develop a good sense of the area, of the outdoors and
how color and the subject appear in their natural setting

What inspired me was that Rungius style outdoors with his
spontaneous brushwork did not deviate when he painted his
larger in-studio wildlife paintings...using his outdoor
studies as his reference. I saw that indeed wildife and
sporting outdoor subjects could be treated with this very
aesthetic flair and expression.

Of late...I've been painting some portraits again, and my
favorite of such portraits are my hunting and fishing peers
at the moment of elation, joy experiencing their moment of
encountering their intended game. For me, in this critical
time politically where the move toward globalization is
pitting the outdoorsman more and more as a relic of the
past to be done away with, controls on name it,
and this very errant idea that man is an unwelcome
intrusion to nature is cause for me once more to wield the
brush in hand to reinforce that idea that it is natural
for mankind to embrace moments outdoors and experience the
joy of what has long been our heritage and right.

If you have some great photographs of hunts, fishing and
might have an interest in having a sporting portrait done,
feel free to contact me and inquire about prices and so
forth. My preference is working with digital images as
they allow me a much closer zooming in study to get things
just right.

I hope you'll enjoy my paintings where my passion for the
outdoors and my joy with paint come together. Please take
a moment to check out my links to my other blogs, my main
artist's website!

1 comment:

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

These are wonderful paintings!