Inspired by the world’s myths, fables and tales of imagination, James C. Christensen wants his work to add up to more than a beautiful – if sometimes “curious” looking work of art. Having taught art professionally for over 20 years, he likes to think of the world as his classroom. His hope is that through whatever he creates-be it a porcelain, fine art print or book-he can convey a message, inspiration or a simple laugh. He believes that teaching people to use their imagination helps us find solutions to sooth the stresses of everyday life-or get a little lift to help us keep going. In short: all things are possible when you share Christensen’s philosophy that “Believing is Seeing.”
Christensen was born in 1942 and raised in Culver City, California. He studied painting at Brigham Young University and, for a while, the University of California at Los Angeles before finishing his formal education at BYU. Since then, he has had one-man shows in the West and the Northeast and his work is prized in collections throughout the U.S. and Europe.
Christensen has also won all the professional art honors the World Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention can bestow, as well as multiple Chesley Awards from the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists. Christensen has been designated as a “Utah Art Treasure,” one of Utah’s Top 100 Artists by the Springville Museum of Art and received the Governor’s Award for Art awarded by the Utah Arts Council recognizing the significance of Christensen’s artwork to Utah’s cultural communities. He was inducted into the U.S. Art magazine’s Hall of Fame and is an Honored Alumnus at Brigham Young University for his contributions to fine art and education. James and his wife Carole, co-chair the Mormon Arts Foundation. He is a frequent guest lecturer at Brigham Young University, and has also given workshops to large companies and organizations on the subject of creative thinking, including the California Art Educator’s Association, Hallmark and Intermountain Health Care.
In addition to his fine art limited editions on paper and canvas, Christensen’s work can be found in five acclaimed books and a series of interactive journals, and in three dimensions in porcelain and hand-crafted, limited-edition bronze sculptures.
Bev Doolittle’s phenomenal success has been a by-product of her desire to work hard at what she loves to do most – create art with meaning. “My love for nature, as well as man’s relationship with it, is the driving force behind all of my artwork. Painting is a growth process. By giving each of my pursuits my best effort, and by learning from my mistakes, doors have opened for me that I could not have anticipated.” For Bev, one of those doors was with The Greenwich Workshop, who produced her first limited edition print, Pintos, in 1979. It sold out at the publisher within weeks. “I am not a prolific painter,” Bev explains. “My art style prevents that. Reproducing my painting in print was the perfect answer. I was able to concentrate on my most important ideas while still having my work represented in galleries around North America as well as abroad. My relationship with The Workshop and its extended family of artists, galleries and their customers has been a joy for me for more than twenty-five years.” Nearly all of Bev’s prints have been sell-outs and five books of her art have been released. Her first, The Art of Bev Doolittle, is truly a phenomenon, having sold over half-million copies of its hardback edition. Her second book, New Magic, continues the story of her painting career. She has since released three children’s books. The Forest Has Eyes was a hit with readers, both young and old. It was followed by Reading the Wild. Her illustrated novel for young readers, The Earth is My Mother includes dozens of drawings and paintings, four of which were released in print. Her desire to try new mediums as well as her fascination with sculpture, led to the creation of five limited edition porcelain boxes, each featuring one of her most popular paintings. In 2004, after a five year hiatus, Bev returned to the print art inthe form of original, hand-pulled, stone lithographs. With some editions set at fewer than 20 pieces, these original prints are already rare. Bev’s work reflects her love of horses, passion for the natural world and her affinity for the Native American’s spiritual relationship to the land. Her work can also be found on calendars, journals and note cards. Bev and her husband, Jay, both graduates of the Art Center College of Design, began married life as art directors for an advertising agency in Los Angeles. Five year of living in the city made them more aware of what they were missing: the outdoors and creating their own art. “We hoarded our savings and struck out on our own, living out of our camper for a year. Calling ourselves, ‘Traveling Artists,’ we painted our way through the western United States, western Canada and Baja, California. It was a tremendous grown period for me. I not only developed my painting skills, but I discovered that I possessed enough self-discipline to paint every day.” Afterward, they displayed their work in malls and outdoor art venues. “Yes, we were ‘starving artists’ for awhile!” admits Bev with a grin, “But, we were so happy doing what we loved.” Life is full of hard choices and the path of the artist is no different. “My advice to aspiring artists is simple: paint what you know, paint what you love and always paint for yourself!” For me, success followed my passion. Passion is what drives me.” Bev, Jay and their son Jayson live close to nature in the California high desert. Joshua Tree National Park is their backyard.
Although teachers often cited his artistic ability, Steve Hanks’ main interest while growing up around San Francisco was sports. As a young teenager, Hanks pursued surfing and tennis with passion. He eventually tired of a steady diet of competitive tennis, but continued to surf, finding a spiritual connection with the ocean. “Surfing had a strong influence on my paintings,” he says. “The ocean often appears in my work, because I have such strong feelings for it.” Although it was apparent early on that he had talent, Hanks refused to do the required assignments in his high school art class and earned a grade of C in the class. “To prove I was good, I did a one-man show at the high school and sold my first painting to another art teacher,” he says. After high school Hanks enrolled in summer session commercial art courses at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. “The only way I could convince my parents to let me go was to say I was going into commercial art,” he says. “I didn’t even know what that was!” He did well in his commercial art classes, but it was a life drawing class that captured his interest. He focused his energy on the study of anatomy and figure drawing and transferred into the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, California. He graduated in the 1960s with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, and then moved back to New Mexico in search of a home art gallery. Initially, he drew in pencil and painted in oils. His paintings were impressionistic while his drawings were more realistic. Eventually, an allergic reaction to oils forced him to experiment with watercolors. Using the techniques learned from other mediums, he found he could create watercolors as “finished” as oils. Deeply affected by the emotions, shifting attitudes and music of the 1960s, the music of 60s icon Bob Dylan often accompanies Hanks as he paints in his studio today. Steve Hanks’ paintings are much more than endearing images of women and children. Rather than conveying a specific message through his paintings, Hanks prefers to explore memories and emotions. “All art is an escape to somewhere you want to be or a feeling you want to have,” Hanks says. “People see different things in my paintings because we all have different backgrounds and feelings.” Hanks highly collected nudes convey an introspective solitude that prompts the viewer to think about his or her own life and path. “Women occupy a special niche in my sensitivity. They express more storytelling ability. There’s more magic in them,” he says. Art jurors began recognizing the quality of his work in 1973. Steve Hanks won the Arts for the Parks Marine Art Award of Excellence in 1990 and 1994, and has been one of the Arts for the Parks top 100 artists since 1989. In 1991, Steve Hanks received the National Watercolor Society Merit Award and the National Academy of Western Art awarded him the Gold Medal in 1992. Since 1993, he has been one of U.S. Art Magazine’s top ten American artists. When the Pacific Rim show in Seattle, WA decided to open the show up to a wider variety of art in 1999, they selected Steve as Artist of the Year. Steve wasone of five winners selected to the U.S. Art Hall of Fame 2000. He was named as one of the top 25 selling artists in the June, 2002 issue of Decor magazine. The 7th Annual Andre Agassi Grand Slam for Children chose Steve as their Feature Artist in 2002.
Judy Larson always knew she was going to be an artist. She was surrounded by them as a child, and was particularly inspired by her father, a professional illustrator. Judy received a Bachelor of Science degree in Commercial Art from Pacific Union College in Northern California, then spent the next 17 years as a commercial artist, illustrator and art director. In 1988, influenced by her love of nature and animals, Judy devoted her time to wildlife art. Her primary focus in each of her paintings is the animal, with the horse as a recurring subject. Her unique approach to her work is through the use of scratch board–a technique that can render magnificent detail but one requiring infinite patience. Scratch board, an old, but little used medium, consists of a smooth, thin surface of hardened China clay applied to a board. The subject is then painted solidly with black India ink to create a silhouette. Now the exacting work begins, engraving the image into the surface of the artwork. While many artists use steel nibs or engraving tools, Judy prefers to work with X-acto blades, changing them ever few minutes to produce as fine a line as possible. Once the subject has been totally scratched, it is a finished black and white illustration, ready for the artist to add color. The methods of adding color are diverse. Judy prefers a combination of airbrush, gouache or acrylics for finishing, with frequent rescratching for detail. Scratch board is a demanding medium, one that Judy has used masterfully in developing her unique approach to wildlife art.
Quite simply, Howard Terpning is one of the most lauded painters of Western art. His awards are so numerous and he is honored with them so often, that to list them would require changing the count every few months. To name three would be to cite the highest prizes awarded to Western art: countless awards from the Cowboy Artists of America, the Hubbard Art Award for Excellence, the National Academy of Western Art’s Prix de West and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Gene Autry Museum. Why such praise? Passion, compassion, devotion and respect for his subject matter, extraordinary talent in palette and brushstroke, an exceptional ability to evoke emotion both in his paintings and from those viewing them — all this and more has made Terpning the “Storyteller of the Native American.” Born in Illinois and educated at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and the American Academy of Art, he first gained attention from some powerful Time and Newsweek covers. Film fans praised his movie posters for such classics as The Sound of Music, Dr. Zhivago and the re-issue of Gone with the Wind. But his love of the West and Native American traditions saw his transition to fine art. Terpning is a long-time member of the Cowboy Artists of America, which has presented him with Gold and Silver awards, “Best of Show” awards, and “Best Overall Show by a Single Artist” awards more than two dozen times. His book, The Art of Howard Terpning won the Wrangler “Outstanding Art Book” award from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame.
Daniel Smith, one of America’s foremost wildlife artists, enjoys wide acclaim for his depictions of the natural world. He is inspired by his surroundings in southwest Montana and paints from personal experience. He also has had a lifetime fascination with Africa and travels there frequently seeking artistic inspiration. Daniel has been painting fulltime for over twenty years. His works are in the permanent collection of The Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum, Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum and The Wildlife Experience. Daniel participates annually in the Masters of the American West exhibit at the Autry National Center and the Western Visions exhibit at the National Museum of Wildlife Art. He has wonnumerous awards from The Society of Animal Artists as well as being chosen as “Artist of the Year” for several conservation organizations. Throughout his career Smith has used his art to aid and endorse manyconservation efforts. He feels indebted to the natural world that has been the sole inspiration for his award winning career.
Morgan Weistling began his artistic training on his father’s lap at 19 months of age, where he learned how to draw and more importantly, use his imagination. Capitalizing on his father’s talent for telling a story in comic strip form, Morgan began to develop a sense of narrative in his drawing. “It was here that art became a language for me.” At the age of 12, Morgan applied his interest in art to studying his father’s art books and began his art school studies at the Brandes Art Institute at 15. Working in a Los Angeles art supply store while attending art school, Morgan chanced to show his artwork to a prominent illustrator. As a result of their encounter, at the age of 19, Weistling found himself employed at a top movie poster agency in Hollywood. For the next 14 years, Morgan illustrated for every movie studio in Hollywood. His clients included Universal/Amblin Entertainment, Disney, MGM, Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Warner Brothers, Columbia Pictures and TriStar. In addition to movie posters, Weistling created all the cover artwork for the video series, McGee and Me for Focus on the Family and his art can be seen on numerous magazine, book, CD and video covers as well as Sega pinball machines. Since he has made fine art the focus of his art career, the collector demand for his originals has been overwhelming. With his masterful use of oils, Morgan Weistling brings a scene to life with spectacular lighting, creating a sense of wonder and engaging the viewer’s imagination and emotion. His dreamlike images touch the viewer’s heart, using more than sentimentality to engage the viewer. His canvases are filled with brushwork that tells a story beyond the subject matter. Like a skilled movie director, he manipulates the focus of interest with suggestions and impressions of forms that are barely realized and allow the viewer’s imagination to fill in the details. “There is a story underneath the story of my paintings,” Morgan adds, “I don’t hide the process of how I painted it. You can see the layers and count the strokes it took to get there. With some styles of painting, the closer you get to the canvas, the more you will see. With mine, the more you step back, the more detail you will see. That’s not easy, which is why it fascinates me.” Morgan Weistling follows in the footsteps of the masters he admires, John Singer Sargent, Anders Zorn and Nicolai Fechin as well as many others. In all of his vibrant work, from western art to feminine forms, Weistling crafts a narrative, driven by clarity, focus and purpose, drawing on images inspired by his beliefs and scenes from daily life. “My hope is that people will enjoy viewing my artwork as much I enjoyed painting it. For me, art is my language used to communicate to others how I see God’s creation. When I experience another artist’s work, I love to see through their eyes and find out as much about the artist as the subject they painted. That is what makes art so interesting.” Weistling, a highly sought-after teacher, conducts private workshops with juried students and teaches at the prestigious Scottsdale Artist School. Recent honors and awards include the Patron’s Choice Award and the Trustees Purchase Award at the Autry Museum of Western Heritage in Los Angeles, CA, the Prix de West Purchase Award at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, OK, and the Patron’s Choice Award at the Autry Museum of Western Heritage. Weistling’s book, The Image of Christ, was a finalist for the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association Gold Medallion Book Award. Weistling met his wife, JoAnn, in art school. Their daughter is often a model in Weistling’s paintings. They make their home in California.
His art reveals a stirring collection of stunning portrayals of human emotions. Soul searching and inspiring Henri’s art will make you laugh, make you cry, and above all make you proud. Hundreds of original painting has been collected by art lovers worldwide and 1000’s of limited edition prints have been sold in recent years. Henri peters art is target for today’s knowledgeable collectors; each new release is appreciatively applauded upon arrival. Henri is world traveled and has combined his experiences and knowledge of several cultures to achieve his artistic expressions. Although color blind his mastery of brilliant colors mixed with deep emotionalism and sensuality have become his trademark. He lives on the shores of the Pacific Ocean in Mancora, a little surfer town with his wife Einale, son martin, and daughter Anya.
Victor, 44, a Native American of Inca Qechua heritage, is married, has two sons, and lives and works in Chosica, near Lima, Peru. He travels the jungles of South America both for research and inspiration for his art. He is entirely self-taught, and feels his work arises “from a giant box full of mysteries and surprises.” To Victor, his Native American subjects “represent harmony, values, and a source of energy and life. In my art I seek to combine their strength and richness of heritage with the challenges of the urban world.”
Victor uses rich color and strong emotion, along with a unique, deft touch of softness, to create unforgettable images.
Nancy Glazier is passionate about her art and the subject of her art. This passion is evident in the way she paints and the way she lives – they are inseparable.
Surrounded by mountain beauty and the animals the artist loves to paint, Glazier says, “I feel a kinship with the animal that grows as the painting progresses. There is a powerful chemistry at work. People ask me, ‘Which is your favorite animal to paint?’ I can tell you it is always the very animal I am painting at the time.” For Glazier, it is “…a warm, living, breathing process that brings me back again and again to the easel. It is my ultimate reward.”
Many of the artist’s admirers and collectors consider Glazier to be an extraordinary artist whose paintings seem “alive.” For her, this is warm praise, because she desires to share what she experiences through her paintings. She hopes the viewer, too, will feel the warmth of the sun or the crisp chill of winter, smell the sage and dust, or hear the bellow of the bison.
Glazier knew she wanted to be an artist from early childhood. In her teens, she lived in Wyoming where she immersed herself in the rugged, western terrain. There she was mentored and taught by artist Adolph Spohr, who gave her private instruction and taught her how a professional uses paint and brush…how to observe and self-correct. The artist’s style evolved over time. After seeing a dramatic photograph of a grizzly, she was awakened to a desire to paint animals “close up and hair-by-hair.” The artist has taken hands-on anatomy classes that enable her to paint an amazingly accurate portrait of an animal from its bone structure to muscles to hair, bringing it life on her canvas.
The artist enjoys much success as one of today’s most talented wildlife painters. Her original works are represented by one of America’s leading galleries. Her paintings have been featured at prestigious shows throughout the country, and two of her works hang in the Museum of Church History and Art in Salt Lake City.
Glazier and her husband reside in an idyllic setting in Nevada where a spacious studio allows her to create her extraordinary paintings and continue her journey of discovery to capture “the whole picture.”
Andy Thomas is not only an immensely talented painter, but also a storyteller with the images he creates. His subject matter consists of a variety of images from historical events to intimate moments of everyday life. The artist’s desire to create is funneled into the area of painting realism that ranges from very loose to very tight. Thomas’s medium is primarily oil, but he also works in watercolor, pen and ink, charcoal, pencil, and ink wash. He is also a very accomplished sculptor.
Primarily self-taught, Thomas began his professional art career in 1991 after sixteen years with a major advertising agency. In his studio, the artist creates his unique paintings that tell their “stories.” Thomas says, “I never consciously ponder elements of design or principals of design…I rely on my sketches to refine a value scheme as a starting point. They also help me visualize the completed painting and consider light, painting technique, subject or object importance, and other considerations. The viewer’s eye-path is a big influence on the composition at this point and all through the painting process.” Thomas’s style has been compared to Russell and Remington, and artist says he also has been influenced by Howard Pyle, Richard Schmid, Norman Rockwell, and others.
Many of Thomas’s historical images have been used in books and as book covers, and his various paintings also have been featured in numerous magazines. The artist’s original works are in many private and corporate collections and also in the permanent collections of museums around the country.
Thomas exhibits in several shows annually, the most recent being the 2006 C. M. Russell Art Auction where he sold eight original paintings. The artist also enjoys judging art shows and teaching children and adult painting classes. He is a talented writer and published a book containing over 100 color images of his work, along with stories written by him.
The artist is a member of the famed Salmagundi Club in New York, The Portrait Society of America, and other art organizations. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Missouri Southern State University with a BS in Marketing Management.
James Seward was born in Alabama, and raised in Tennessee. He spent summers with his grandparents in the wild back-country of Alabama. When he was six, his grandfather bought him his first set of oil paints, and as a young child he often painted his grandparents by lamp-light, to their great astonishment. “From the time I was five years old, I was continually painting and drawing in that great environment,” the artist remembers with fondness.
After military service, Seward spent a year studying art under Howard Boyd Johnson at Watkins Institute in Nashville. In 1947, he enrolled at the Art Institute of Chicago, where he met his wife, Lyn. A year later they were married.
After graduation, Seward apprenticed at two Chicago commercial art studios, but in 1954, the family moved to the midwest. After a year with an agency, he joined Union Gospel Press for the next six years. Since that time, Seward has been self-employed as a freelance illustrator and painter and has created works for most of the large protestant denominations including Standard Publishing in Cincinnati, the Methodists and Baptists in Nashville, the Concordia Lutherans in St. Louis, and the Nazarene Publishing House.
Although the artist had attended church since childhood, after leaving for the Navy in 1944, he dropped his church attendance. In 1953, two former friends with whom he’d lost contact felt moved to pray for his salvation. And in 1954 when he and his family attended church with a neighbor, Jim and Lyn gave their lives to Christ
Currently Jim is an ordained minister for the “Christ-Life Fellowship” headquartered in Dallas, Texas. He has spoken around the United States as well as in South Africa. He writes articles, makes teaching tapes and works on religious books. His religious paintings express his passion for Christ.
Seward has completed over 22 illustrations for a Doubleday book entitled, Ancient Greece. In 1987 and 1989, he was one of 100 artists from around the country picked for the National Arts in the Parks Competition. James E. Seward has been commissioned for portraitures by many organizations. His paintings grace the walls of such companies as the General Motors Corporation, the Wells Fargo Bank, The McDonald Investment Company, and the Will Rogers Museum in Oklahoma.
“I try not only to inform, but to move and delight with my artwork…I want the viewer to have an emotional reaction to each painting. That’s what makes it a work of art rather than just an illustration.” – James E. Seward
Whether painting the Native Americans in a dramatic, picturesque setting, or the American cowboy in the dusty cattle-working pens, Martin Grelle captures the spirit, beauty, and vastness of the West in his historically-accurate, compelling images. Grelle studies diligently to portray the diverse cultures of the American West accurately and with sensitivity. His knowledge of the cowboy’s way of life, gained from his time spent horseback on ranches during the annual Cowboy Artists of America’s (CAA) trail ride, as well as the time spent with local ranchers and friends, is evident in his contemporary cowboy paintings. The many hours spent in museums, at historical re-enactments, in visiting with experts on Native American culture, and reading from his extensive library, have helped him to bring his vision of the Plains Indian culture to life on canvas.
Grelle was born when his family lived on a small farm a few miles from the small, Central Texas town of Clifton, which he still calls home today. This beautiful and historic area has become a mecca for artists, including many of Grelle’s close friends. They all enjoy getting together to “talk art”, critique each other’s work, and exchange ideas. Many of them, including Grelle, teach annual workshops through a local art facility known as the Bosque Conservatory, which has begun to have a national presence. Grelle treasures this feeling of community and the opportunities he is afforded living in such a creative environment.
The artist’s talents were evident as a child and he began painting at an early age. Luckily for the budding painter, acclaimed Western artists James Boren and Melvin Warren had settled in the same area while he was in school. With excellent guidance from James Boren, a full-time artist was born in his early twenties. Since then, Grelle has studied and traveled widely to seek subject matter for his work. Working primarily in oils on canvas, the artist’s figures and landscape become one in a painterly style rich in vibrant color and narrative.
For more than 30 years Grelle has made a career of his art, and has won awards of both regional and national importance. In 1995, he was elected to the Cowboy Artists of America, and he is one of the younger active members. He is currently serving his second term on the board of directors for that organization, and participates in the Annual CAA Exhibition and Sale at the Phoenix Art Museum each October. Grelle won the CAA People’s Choice Award in 2002, for his painting Monarchs of the North, and the Ray Swanson Memorial Award in 2008, for his painting Newlyweds. He has also been privileged to participate in other major juried shows across the United States. Included in that list are the Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition and Sale at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, which he has participated in each year since 1995, the Masters of the American West Fine Art Exhibition & Sale at the Autry National Center, and the inaugural Quest for the West Exhibition & Sale at the Eiteljorg Museum. Awards of merit include the Prix de West Purchase Award, which he won in 2002 for his painting Teller of Tales, and again in 2005, for his painting Two Coups, making him one of only 6 artists to have won the top award twice. Grelle has also won twice the Nona Jean Hulsey Ramsey Buyer’s Choice Award at Prix de West, first in 2004 with Signs Along the Snake, and again in 2006, for Dust in the Distance. The artist is represented by Overland Gallery of Fine Art, in Scottsdale, Arizona, where a one-man show is held for Grelle each March. The 2008 show marked Grelle’s 20th anniversary one-man show with the gallery.
The artist has been profiled in a number of publications, including the magazines Art of the West, Western Art Collector, Southwest Art, Western Art & Architecture, Persimmon Hill, American Cowboy, Western Horseman, Wild West, and InformArt. His work has also been showcased on the covers of many of these publications.
Grelle says humbly, “I thank God for the ability and the opportunities He has given me, and I hope I can continue to grow and learn more with each finished painting. I am honored by everyone who collects my work, and I will always strive to create artwork worthy of their attention, and their investment.”
The man whose first name means “surprise” in his native language delivers that element in his paintings of tranquil landscapes, crashing coastlines, peaceful symphonies and energetic jazz bands. Collectors of all ages and of varied lifestyles find something in the diverse repertoire of Nenad Mirkovich to delight the senses. He delights himself with the reactions of viewers when they discover that the same talented artist painted all these scenes. Nenad Mirkovich says the varied subject matter and styles he uses in his work are not so different as they first seem, however. His paintings comprise juxtapositions of opposites—high drama with peaceful beauty, darkness and shadow with light and sunshine, movement with quiet. In a face or in a landscape, the elements that provide the surprise are much the same. Born in Belgrade in 1951, Mirkovich has made his home in Houston, Texas, since 1985. He began painting and drawing as a young child, and his background as a portrait painter and magazine illustrator in Yugoslavia helped him to develop his varied styles, says his wife Donna. His passions—besides painting—are fishing and cooking. He owns more than 150 fishing rods, makes his own lures and “can sit in a boat for hours and hours, pulling out fish,” Donna says. He also is a gourmet cook, and has developed a favorite dish he calls “Nenad Chicken.”
Frank McCarthy knew from an early age that his passion was art, copying from his favorite comic strips. Encouraged by his parents and art teachers, he enrolled at fourteen in New York’s Art Students League, studying first under George Bridgeman and then under Reginald Marsh. After high school graduation, he studied for three years at Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute with a major in illustration. Following his studies, McCarthy embarked on his art career as a commercial illustrator in New York City. He painted illustrations for most of the paperback book publishers, magazines, movie companies and advertisements. He created works that became posters for such movies as the James Bond series. Frank McCarthy’s talents were highly sought-after by art directors enabling him to work as a free lance illustrator for many years. His art career spanned over 50 years, beginning with a request for a western cover for a magazine by an art director. He left the world of commercial art in 1968, and began his fine art career after moving to Sedona, Arizona. Frank McCarthy’s dynamic paintings frequently featured the people of the west with a special emphasis on the Plains Indian, mountain men and cavalry that comprised the lore and lure of the Old West. Appropriately entitled the “Dean of Western Action Painters,” Frank McCarthy’s art was unsurpassed for its motion, drama and absolute attention to accuracy and detail. Highly collected and frequently imitated, Frank McCarthy’s works were treasured throughout the world as classic examples of contemporary Western Art. Retrospective showings of Frank McCarthy’s paintings have been held at the Museum of the Southwest, Midland, Texas; the R.W. Norton Museum in Shreveport, La.; the Thomas Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Ok.; and in 1992, at the Cowboy Artist of America Museum (now known as National Center for American Western Art) in Kerrville, Texas. Frank McCarthy was invited to join the prestigious Cowboy Artists of America organization in 1975 and was an active member in the CAA group for 23 years. He was inducted into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 1997 Three books of his paintings have been published-The Art of Frank C. McCarthy, Frank C. McCarthy, Fifteen Anniversary commemorative and The Old West, a leather-bound Collector’s Edition. More than 100 limited edition art prints of his paintings have been published since 1974 by The Greenwich Workshop. McCarthy passed away in 2002 at his home of 30 years in the beautiful red rocks of Sedona, Arizona.
At 14, California native, Donna Hillman sold her first painting to purchase her first horse starting her on a life long love for horses. At 17, she took a job working for a local photography studio doing artwork on photographs for their clients starting her path as a well known and highly sought after artist. Her passion for horses took her to New York to experience the world of horse racing. She ran her first professional race at Belmont race track on October eleventh nineteen seventy one placing a strong second place. Donna filled all her free time with painting. Soon her art and success on the track caught the attention of the local press. During her first one-woman show at Hialeah track in florida led to private showings at tracks across the country and Turf clubs in Australia, new guinea, and Jamaica. ‘Painting to me is fun and exhilariating. I go through a roller coaster ride of emotions during the creation of every piece; I strive to touch the soul of the viewer with my art.’ – donna walsh
Tom duBois’ outlook on life is eternally young. He has the gift of seeing through a child’s eyes – transforming the realistic into the magical. He is fond of a quote by Picasso, “Every child is an artist…the problem is remaining a child once you grow up.”
The artist’s unassuming and humble personality, combined with his outstanding talents, result in highly imaginative works of art unique to his creative genius. Always a delightful artist and guest at gallery shows, duBois has amazed and entertained his collectors with not only his artistic abilities, but also his acoustic guitar and songs.
duBois loves to travel for research on the animals and people featured in his paintings as well as for period clothing. The artist has been known to stop people on the street if they fit his idea for a person he plans to include in an image. And, with his winning smile and honest persona, he is rarely turned down by one of his potential “models.” With meticulous research and attention to detail, duBois creates rich, intricate works that astound the viewer.
Over a short period of years, duBois was catapulted to the pinnacle of the limited edition art world. His most famous images are from his Noah’s Ark Series, the Disney Discovery Collection, the phenomenal Hosanna, and other religious works of art. With sell-out editions on each release, duBois has established himself as an artist who captures the whole story in his paintings.
In the Noah’s Ark images, the artist created fantastic, colorful scenes depicting the construction of the Ark, the Ark as it sailed the endless water covering the earth, the gathering of the animals for their journey on the Ark, and the celebration of the waters receding as Noah and his family returned to land. duBois’ “Hosanna,” depicting Christ being led into the City of Jerusalem through the throngs of people who worshipped Him as He bestowed His love on them, is a masterpiece of creativity that has been compared to some of the world’s most admired religious works.
For the Disney Discovery Collection, duBois created amazing images featuring five of the Disney characters…Snow White, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, Pinocchio, and Cinderella…images that astounded the art world. Hidden within the images were characters and items from each story…to view one of these works is truly incredible.
Bonnie Marris has taken an unusual path into art; she developed her talent by portraying animals “from the inside out.” While she was a student at Michigan State University, Bonnie illustrated several major books. One volume she worked on was a leading expert’s mammalogy text that contained several hundred drawings and detail studies. This massive project attracted the attention of noted zoologist George Schaller, who invited Bonnie to prepare the art for posters that would support his worldwide rare animal relief programs. Beyond academic training and emotional involvement, art requires another element for which there is no substitute: experience. Each year, Bonnie makes two major trips, and countless smaller ones, to observe and learn about the wildlife she loves. In 1980, one such voyage took her to Alaska, where she lived in the wilderness for six months. She recounts, “To get into a natural environment and see the animals on their own terms is as important as knowing the animals themselves. For instance, gray wolves on the tundra—the vast, vast tundra with the wind and other forces of nature at their most extreme—that’s what makes them what they are. To stand not far from a grizzly that is so overpowering, so beautiful and so large . . . to watch it pull up a small tree with a swipe of its paw and just a few minutes later see it delicately picking blueberries with its black lips. . . Alaska changed me; it gave me the biggest incentive to paint and increased my interest in the predators: the cats, bears, coyotes, wolves and foxes. They exist on so many levels. Their moods show in their eyes and we can learn so much from them.”
In 1940, Simon Combes was born in “Wilderness Cottage,” in Shaftsbury, England, and from that day in June, the wilderness always attracted him. His first adventures began early when, in 1946, his parents immigrated to farm in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley, a magical place for a young boy. Simon loathed his years at boarding school in Nakuru and at Duke of York in Nairobi, always longing for the freedom of the bush. While managing a 2,000 acre farm when he was seventeen, he was drafted into six months compulsory military training after already applying for appointment in the Kings African Rifles. He was accepted into 4 KAR but having just finished his training was sent to Uganda where one of his duties was to teach basic etiquette and rugby to a young Idi Amin. He attended Sandhurst Military Academy and returned to Kenya to join the 3rd Kings African Rifles in time for Kenya’s Independence.
In 1964, Simon was chosen to form and command Kenya’s elite Parachute Regiment. This involved training the first 250 paratroopers in England, and translating all the instruction books into Swahili. Their first posting back in Kenya was fighting the Shifta war in the North Eastern province. It was during this time Simon started to draw and paint as a hobby to occupy his spare time. His subjects were the Somali and Boran people and the landscapes of the North.
In 1969, he held his first exhibition in Nairobi which was a sell-out on the opening night. It was then that the idea of painting full-time started. However, he was refused release from the army and was moved to army HQ as staff officer in charge of all operations and training. He was also captain of the army shooting team and vice chairman to the Kenya Rifle Association. A Major at 28 and performing the duties of a Lieutenant Colonel, his military peers remember him fondly as a “True Kenyan.”
Finally, in 1974, he was released from the army and started life as a professional artist. Best known for his stunning images wildlife in the African bush, he achieved worldwide success and acclamation through many prestigious awards. His paintings hang in private and museum collections around the globe. Simon’s life was rich with great adventures and wildlife encounters. From being lost in a blizzard while crossing the Altai Mountains in Mongolia and flying into the jungles of Venezuela to sketching Bengal Tigers atop a howdah on a swaying elephant in India, his experiences and observations led him to develop his exacting artistic style, rendering his subjects with such depth and exquisite detail. Africa & Beyond: The Art and Adventures of Simon Combes, a retrospective exhibition of Simon’s major works, was held at The Wildlife Experience Museum in 2004 to celebrate his great artistic achievements.
Since 1979, The Greenwich Workshop, Inc., has published his works as Fine Art Reproductions on paper and canvas. He always said, if given the time he would rather write than paint. This talent is apparent in his books An African Experience, distributed by The Greenwich Workshop and Great Cats, published by The Greenwich Workshop, Inc. Simon was also working on a book of Limericks about life in Kenya which reveals his ability to entertain us with his wit and humor. Simon had a wonderful talent for communication, whether in speech, writing or painting. Never self assuming, he gave talks in Kiswahili to the farm staff, through a translator to school children in Russia and also to many interested groups around the world. Not only a man of the arts, but an avid conservationist as well, Simon had recently appointed Kenya Representative and Project Director for Rhino Rescue Trust. He sat on the boards of several wildlife conservation organizations and raised, through his art, many thousands of dollars for their causes.
On Sunday, December 12, 2004, atop a beautiful ancient volcano near his home in Africa’s Great Rift Valley, Simon’s life was tragically taken by one of the wild animals he so lovingly portrayed in his paintings. He never “gathered moss” and now he has come home. He is survived by his wife Kat, his children, Cindy and Guy, his sister, Jenny all of Kenya and his former wife Susie of England. We shall remember Simon well.
Liz Lemon Swindle has a deep, abiding faith that she feels blessed to share through her art. A lifelong Utah resident, she studied fine arts at Utah State University. She worked for several years as a set designer and painter for the Osmond Studios television production company. As her family grew (she and her husband Jon Swindle today have five children), she saw the need for a more flexible career and decided to focus on oil painting. In the early 1980s she tutored under renowned wildlife artist Nancy Glazier and soon after established her own impressive reputation as a wildlife painter, participating in shows at major galleries in the central and western United States. However, Lemon Swindle became increasingly discontent, feeling artistically and spiritually unfulfilled. In October 1988 she reached a turning point when she submitted a portrait of children to the National Arts for the Parks competition and received the coveted Founders’ Favorite award. She realized then that there was an audience for her portrait painting and by the early 1990s she had devoted herself to the topic closest to her heart: her faith. A one-woman show of her Christian art traveled to cities nationwide in the summer of 1997 and a book of her paintings, “She Shall Bring Forth a Son” was published in 1998.
R. Tom Gilleon’s art is hard to pigeonhole. His interpretations of the American West are genuine and unique. His representations of native teepees are archetypal and primitive in their basic forms yet they are remarkably contemporary in composition with a sprinkling of personal symbols and humor. Gilleon’s work is coveted by collectors, increasingly finding homes in prominent museums and auctions such as the Coeur d’Alene.
Gilleon was born in 1942 and raised in Florida by his grandparents in the tiny outpost of Starke, near Jacksonville and the storied banks of the Suwannee River. His grandfather had immigrated to the United States from Scotland and became a renowned cabinetmaker. His grandmother was a full-blooded Cherokee.
Gilleon earned a scholarship to play baseball at the University of Florida where he took courses in architecture. He served in the Navy in the early 1960s and then worked as an illustrator for NASA’s Apollo space program. Eventually, he went solo as a freelance illustrator based in Orlando and was hired by The Walt Disney Corporation to deliver conceptual sketches and designs for its Disney World theme park. Later, he moved to California to work at Disney’s Imagineering studio which designed Epcot Center and then Gilleon assisted in the planning of Disneyland Tokyo, Disneyland Hong Kong and Disneyland Paris.
The American West left a mesmerizing impact on him as an artist. Gilleon and his wife first built a home along the Dearborn River in Montana, and later purchased a ranch near Great Falls not far from the legendary Old North Trail where native peoples traveled millennia ago from the Arctic to the desert Southwest. Here Gilleon found clusters of teepee rings from encampments which inspire him to contemplate how the camps might have looked centuries ago.
Z.S. Liang was born in China and raised in a family of artists. He studied at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in Guangzhou. Liang furthered his art study in the United States in 1982.He earned his BFA in painting at Massachusetts College of Arts in 1986 and his MFA in Painting at Boston University in 1989.
Liang received his great inspiration in this country while studying and painting the Wampanoag Indian culture at the outdoor Museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts. This newfound interest fired his imagination, and he began to focus his painting primarily on Native American Indian cultures and their traditional ways of life. During the ensuring years of field research, he has made many connections and friends among Native tribes from the East coast to the Rocky Mountains. Liang’s obvious passion for the Indians as a people, coupled with his emphasis on historical accuracy, adds strength and truth to his portrayals.
Among the many awards Liang has received are the President’s Award for Excellence. Oil Painters of America, 2005; Best of Show Award and People’s Choice Award, the American Society of Portrait Artists, 1998; the Arthur Ross Award for Painting, Classical America, New York, 1992; and the Lila Acheson Award for Painting, the Society of American Illustrators. 1986.
Liang has been invited to participate the Masters of the American West Fine Art Exhibition and Sale in Autry National Center every year since 2005. His works have been featured in Art of the West, South West Art, Western Art Collectors, Artists and International Artists Magazines. He is represented by Trailside Galleries in Jackson, Wyoming and Scottsdale, Arizona.
Liang and his family reside in Southern California.
Thomas Kinkade, the celebrated “Painter of Light”™ is one of the most widely collected and beloved artists of our day. Each year millions of people are drawn to the luminous light and tranquil mood of Kinkade’s paintings and include his creations in their lives through prints, books, and other fine collectibles.
An inspired idealist, Thomas Kinkade believes art has the power to touch people’s hearts and change their lives. Kinkade’s artwork is an outgrowth of his deep faith in God, which he believes to be the foundation of his work. A devoted husband and father, Thomas Kinkade lives in Northern California with his wife, Nanette, and their four daughters: Merrit, Chandler, Winsor and Everett.
“In my paintings I try to create worlds of tranquility, joy, and beauty.” Thomas Kinkade’s paintings have become visions of hope and comfort, a welcome haven from the pressures of modern life. His complex technique bears great kinship to a little known group of nineteenth century American painters known as the Luminists. As Kinkade puts it, “Like the Luminists, I strive for three visual aspects in my work: soft edges, a warm palette, and an overall sense of light.”
Cao Yong began his life in Japan by working as a gravedigger and taking small painting commissions. But soon his talents attracted much larger commissions, in the form of several enormous murals. Within a few years, Cao Yong was recognized as the nation’s most honored muralist; his murals adorned stylish commercial buildings, high-class department stores, and even ceremonial sites throughout Japan. Meanwhile, Cao Yong continued to work passionately on his Tibet paintings, creating a body of his finest work then to date. Exhibited in Tokyo’s prominent museums and art galleries, Cao Yong’s art electrified the nation’s art world, and he was extolled by the Japanese press as “an artistic genius of our time.”
In 1994, searching for tougher challenges and a bigger stage, Cao Yong immigrated to the United States. Inspired by the free-spirited American people and the diverse and energetic society, the artist began what was soon to become his most prolific outpouring of work, vividly reflecting his newest experiences and emotions. Collectors zealously welcomed, and continue to welcome, Cao Yong’s new art. In 1999, he established his art publishing company Cao Yong Editions, Inc. In a little over two years, Cao Yong has become one of the most collected living artists in America. Nearly two hundred galleries nationwide have joined Cao Yong’s dealership, and his distribution network is now expanding into the Japanese, Canadian, and European markets.
Although audiences around the world respond with standing ovations to Cao Yong’s remarkable work, the artist remains raptly focused upon perfecting his art. To Cao Yong, there is no greater reward than being able to share with others his innermost feelings through his work.
Scott Gustafson’s earliest artistic ambition was to become an animator. But by the time he entered high school, he became acquainted with artists from the Golden Age of Illustration. Great illustrators like N.C. Wyeth, Normal Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish and Arthur Rackham opened a door onto a world of beautiful images that continue to inspire him to this day. Lingering dreams of making animated films, however, led Scott to major in animation at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. It wasn’t until after leaving art school that the possibility of a career as a freelance illustrator began to truly appeal to him. Over the nearly twenty-five years that span his career, he has had the opportunity to fulfill commissions for a number of varied clients and publishers such as Celestial Seasonings, Playboy magazine, Saturday Evening Post, The Bradford Exchange, Dreamworks and The Greenwich Workshop. His illustrated books include The Night Before Christmas, Peter Pan, Nutcracker, as well as two original titles, Animal Orchestra and Alphabet Soup. His newest release, Classic Fairy Tales, was recently awarded a Chesley award for best interior book illustrations from the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists.
Western subjects, landscapes, Native Americans, cowboys, horses, wildlife and fantasy are Hermon’s primary subject matter. According to Hermon, “The important things in a painting are beauty, light, depth, and meaning.” He accomplishes this in each of his paintings, creating a style that is unmistakably his own.
Hermon was born on September 14, 1945, in Raymond Mississippi. Hermon’s artwork, especially the horses, is a reflection of several influences: growing up with and training horses, working on his family’s cattle farm, and working on ranches close by, and in Texas. Hermon followed his heart west in 1981. The Artist began his own publishing company in 1988, and has over twenty sold-out editions to his credit. While working with The Franklin Mint, he was one of their best-selling plate artists. He has had his images produced on Landmark Calendars, on paperback books from Leisure Books, and on playing cards. Hermon’s images can now be found on Leanin’ Tree greeting cards, on Candimar Designs cross- stitch, on Milton Bradley puzzles, and on collector plates from the Bradford Exchange, The Mountain Tee Shirts, and Tree Free Greeting Cards.
The artist says, with regard to his distinctive style, “An artist’s style, if it’s honest, is everything he has experienced, seen, loved and even hated. But when he begins to paint, he should try only to paint the best that he can, not dwelling on how to achieve a particular style. Then, he will have a style that is uniquely his own”.