I received the nicest of emails from Southwest Gallery concerning a recently completed commission for one of their clients. It was of typical size, format, etc, but it was of the collector's prized alpacas. I had never painted alpacas and jumped at the opportunity to spend time learning about what sets one apart from the next.
It was a blustery cold day when we traveled to the ranch. The collectors already owned a large painting of mine and after viewing it hung over the fireplace of their main home, we set out to view the alpacas. I found them living up to their star status. These are prized show animals, traveling about in comfort matching Kentucky thoroughbreds.
I gathered reference of the animals and the desired view of the ranch and set to work. I admit, it was something I never expected to paint.
I always wanted to paint but growing up on a farm in Central Texas, I thought my subjects would be cowboys. I started painting in watercolor because it was gifted to my class by my high school art teacher, Dr. John C. Oliver. The art department at Elgin High School had few resources in 1987 except for one valuable asset, Dr. Oliver. He traveled from Austin each day to gift us with a better understanding of life and art.
Dr. Oliver made a difference! Our 1987 senior project was something along the theme of "Race of Life". While we worked on the project, Dr. Oliver brought in watercolors and I'll never forget, Arches Watercolor Paper. Nice stuff! We knew it was expensive and seemed like a luxury beyond reach for us. He had purchased this for the class from his own modest salary. He stressed that it was expensive and to MAKE IT COUNT!
My project was something of a skeleton falling down and a body going through a ribbon at a finish line. It probably can be viewed as very 1980's today, but I don't know for sure as Dr. Oliver bought it from me. I can't remember what he paid, maybe $15, maybe as much as $40, but it was my first fine art sale and a catalyst in my life.
Painter of western wildlife and landscapes, constantly seeking to balance impressionism and realism sans trickery. Brian works as a full time artist in Central Texas. Exhibited at Rockwell Museum, Briscoe Museum, National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, and National Museum of Wildlife Art.
September 7, 2018