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.”
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.”
Aviation was my first artistic love, but my true, enduring love remains my Christian faith, home and family. So it is my pleasure to combine all of it in my work. The historical aviation subjects, I research; the contemporary and nostalgic subjects, I live.
Phillips grew up loving art but never thought he could make it his livelihood. At college he majored in criminology, and he had been accepted into law school when four of his paintings were sold at an airport restaurant. That was all the incentive he needed to begin his work as a fine art painter.
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.
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.”
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.
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.