Why do artists want to take students? Some years back a chance glance in the daily paper became one of those pivotal moments in your life when I read of a Wildlife Artist that was opening a gallery in my town, Pine Bush N.Y. I had been making a serious attempt at art in those days I was 28 and had alot of ambition but was lacking in experience. When I read of John Hamberger's Bison Art Gallery, I grabbed my best works and was out the door! I walked into the gallery and introduced myself and was led down a gauntlet of fine art paintings by Kuhn, Schelling, Beecham to name a few. I almost wanted to turn and run but it was too late. I had arrived at John's Studio..... A few weeks later I received a postcard invitation to become a student and so I spent the next two years of Fridays learning the ways of a wildlife artist. I remember exactly where I was some years later when I learned of John's passing and the Wildlife Art world had lost a great one. But it kept going as it always had and will, from the great prehistoric cave painters of Europe to the present artists who strive to capture the great animals of our world in lines and paint.
When artists take the time to teach, they enrich the art world by helping others to reach their potential. They also pass along some of themselves and their style. It really is a tradition. Wildlife art is the hardest art form. Many artists try animals but it is not their calling. It is believed that this calling is something that you are born with. Artists who learn to paint animals because they want to sell can be spotted a mile away. But those artists who sacrifice greatly to communicate that which is great in an animal are the real deal.
In 2007 I founded the Wildlife Art Class at Gander Mountain Store in Middletown N.Y. Here students are taught the fundamentals of oil painting and are led to paint accurate depictions of wildlife in their native habitat. This November we are celebrating some of the works of these artists. Please join us on Nov.22nd from 6.30 -8.30 pm for a reception. The show will be at Gander Mountain Store Lodge at 100 N. Galleria Dr. in Middletown N.Y. 10940. The show will hang from Nov.22nd -Dec13th 2010. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. The one thing that all great wildlife artists have in common is that once they start to paint the animals they never stop.