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LEE CABLE

Lee Cable feels most at home in the great outdoors, watching nature and her creations. It is his back-to-nature fervor that has made Lee one of the nation's most revered wildlife artists.

Born in 1943, Lee's happiest memories are of his childhood in Greenville, Ohio, and his experiences with wildlife, stalking deer, fishing and hunting with his Dad. As his love of the land grew, so did his skill at visual expression. Lee's teenage years were spent studying design, composition, and anatomy through the media of charcoal, watercolor, acrylics, oil, and clay.

Lee's trips to the back country satisfy more than just a love of nature; they provide new inspirations for future paintings. Every new tree, snag, rock formation, animal or bird must be investigated, examined and then photographed as reference material for later works.

This insatiable quest to learn nature's secrets is evident in all his works, Lee's dedication to portraying nature in the purest sense has not gone unnoticed. Exhibiting throughout the United States and Canada, Lee has won numerous awards both state and national. Many private collections include examples of Lee's art.

Today, Lee paints with opaque watercolors. The result, states Lee, is that he is able to create a much softer image, with more control of values and hues, a dimension which is extremely important in fine art. Lee was known to many of his early admirers as "The Raccoon Man". It was a case of forgetting the name, but remembering the face-the face of an appealing little creature who quickly became his trademark. If you look closely at his paintings, you will be able to find a paw print hidden somewhere in the leaves or grass.

KEVIN DANIEL

When Kevin Daniel began dabbling in paints and completing portraits as a young man in the early 1960's, he had no thought that he was nurturing the beginnings of a profession that would last a lifetime. As he studied the Renaissance master's paintings and portraits from books and museums and sketched family, friends and strangers, his thoughts were only on how much he enjoyed what he was doing.

In his twenties, this Minnesota native began concentrating on painting animals and wildlife, discovering that people really appreciated the realism and natural beauty he brought to his subjects.

With increasing confidence brought on by the popular demand for his work, he joined the competitive chase for the elusive but lucrative recognition bestowed upon the national and state Duck Stamp winners. Thus waterfowl became a primary subject for him while in his thirties.

He also painted many other birds and wildlife in natural settings, bringing the viewer into remote scenes untouched by mankind. The camera became Daniel's best friend as he searched the lakes, forests, valleys and countryside of Minnesota for the "real thing." Literally thousands of pictures are taken or purchased so that he can bring the subjects in his imagination to life.

Daniel has now returned to the romantic creativeness of the masters' portraits he studied as a teen. He has turned his camera on family and friends to feature real people in his paintings. His paintings portray intimate and impressionistic scenes of nostalgic family life and collectors embrace his versatility. Daniel manages to portray his human subjects much like the animals in his wildlife paintings. The viewer is an unannounced visitor to the moment, eavesdropping on the subject.

He continues to attract a growing body of collectors. His honors have been many and include the 1991 Minnesota Wildlife Heritage Foundation "Artist of the Year"; winner of the 1990 Minnesota Duck Stamp competition, and "Best of Show" awards at the Kansas City National Wildlife Art Show and the Oklahoma Wildlife Festival.

WILHELM GOEBEL

While Wilhelm Goebel was majoring in biology at Ithaca College, his primary focus was ornithology. He had been fascinated by birds for as long as he could remember, and as he began to teach himself to draw, birds were his first subject.

For a brief time, he considered a career in biological illustration. He could do detailed drawings of skeletal structures, muscles, and feathers; but the painter inside him wanted more. It would be a choice between the security of an academic career, or the gamble of making a living through painting. As Wilhelm puts it, “I was single at the time, so I had only myself to starve.”

It was difficult at first, often a long time between sales of his work or winning a prize in competition. But the small victories began to grow larger. In 1982, he had his work admitted to the prestigious Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Show; a feat he would repeat year after year. Other shows followed, including the Society of Animal Artist’s Annual Exhibition with its national tour.

From the beginning, Wilhelm believed in the value and the necessity of field work, of personal observation. He says, “A lot of work, my paintings, my ideas, come from being out in the woods or in the wilderness, or wherever, coming across the animals and watching them.”

Wilhelm has traveled extensively in his field work, captivated equally by the Yukon as well as the Yucatan, capturing on film and memory those images he will put on canvas.

While birds still hold a special place in Wilhelm’s artistic heart, he is equally at home painting Alaskan wolves or Majestic herds of Elk in Yellowstone National Park.

Asked what he likes best about being a painter, he promptly replies, “Getting out there, watching nature, trying to record what I see.”

BOB HENLEY

Bob Henley’s deepest wish is that his life will be remembered as a statement for the preservation of wildlife and its habitat. He is a staunch conservationist, trying to convey his dedication to nature through a growing collection of expressive oil paintings.

Knowing that the necessary balance of nature is threatened almost everywhere, Bob is trying to help inspire the world to develop - or recapture - its respect for nature. To ensure nature’s survival, he believes people have to understand how land, forest, wetland, animals, birds … and all other parts of our natural heritage … work together.

Bob was born in Roanoke, Virginia, and lives there today. Traveling in the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains, he works to see and study the wildlife he paints. “Accuracy and detail are vitally important to me,” he says, “because I really want others to see these animals as they really are. The only way I can show people what’s threatened in nature is to bring them close to it - through my paintings.”

That Bob has been successful is evident by the awards and honors he has received. His work is found in numerous private and corporate collections, and he was chosen to be the featured artist for the 1995 Southeastern Wildlife Exposition.

Moreover, those who see and admire his work can readily see and understand that Bob’s goals and ideals have to be mirrored by everyone if nature is to survive.

ALAN M. HUNT

Wildlife artist and activist Alan M. Hunt considers himself “a zoologist who paints wildlife”. Born in North Yorkshire, England, Alan’s artistic talents began to show when he was quite young and were encouraged by his family. Alan attended Middlesborough Art College in Yorkshire and went on to study zoology at Leeds College and Bristol University.

Alan has worked with animals in the wild and captivity - in parks, zoos and reserves. He has used his ability as a naturalist-guide for bird watchers and others interested in nature all around the world. Alan began full-time after others showed a great deal of interest in his paintings. Over the years, he has exhibited his work in museums, galleries and other locales worldwide. His wildlife art hangs in public and private collections.

Alan paints only during daylight hours; he never uses artificial light. Working in a variety of media, primarily oil and gouache, but also ink, acrylic, egg tempera and watercolor, he achieves a variety of exquisite textures from feathers to rocks. His extensive world travels, observations and experience with wild animals clearly show in his realistic style of painting, which is both accurate and evocative.

A devoted conservationist, Alan is constantly seeking new ways to help environmental groups raise funds. He now concentrates his work solely on endangered species in order to bring their threatened survival to the attention of as many people as possible.

“If my son doesn’t get to see half the wildlife in his lifetime that I’ve seen, I’ll feel very guilty. Rather than become famous as a painter, I would like to be remembered as someone who tried to make people aware of the need to protect the environment and the planet.”

MARK KELSO

Mark Kelso studied at John Herron School of Art where he focused on social, philosophical, and environmentally oriented work. This nature vs. civilization content in his work was translated to wildlife subject matter following his senior year, and has remained his sole subject matter since.

Mark is known for his highly detailed, acrylic renderings. His subject matter is often less familiar animals, which are sometimes portrayed, in confrontational scenarios. He will also add conceptual elements to his works when possible, that emphasize his environmental concerns.

"I have developed a reputation for painting animals and situations that are usually avoided by other wildlife artist. The life and death cycle, and inter-species confrontations have become reoccurring themes in my work. What I hope to express through my body of wok is that there's an extraordinary abundance of life forms on this world, all interaction with each other, all important, all beautiful, and we are a part of that event called nature...not separate or above it".

ROCK NEWCOMB

Artist, W. Rock Newcomb has one goal in mind - to create art that will draw the viewer into the works he has created, focus on it, and perhaps discover a refreshing view in what he has portrayed.

Born in 1945 in Oakland, California on a military base, Newcomb and his family moved shortly thereafter to Nebraska. Among his fondest memories are those of exploring nature and fishing on the Republican River with his father, uncles and cousins. It was during these formative years, that his family, especially his grandmother took an interest in his drawing. Together, the budding artist and his grandmother would haunt the local library. Looking through books, he would draw what he saw.

At the age of eight, the Newcomb family moved once more - this time to Rupert, Idaho, where a homestead awaited their pioneer spirit. Breaking out the sagebrush, leveling the land and installing an irrigation system were just the beginning of establishing a farm. Inevitably came the daily chores of working the field and the twice daily milking of the cows.

Although farming was never to become the young field hand's calling, he appreciated the land's natural beauty and the creatures that inhabited it. Abundant wildlife such as hawks, eagles, badgers, coyotes, foxes and others became a daily part of his experience on the farm. One of his favorite pastimes was searching for Native American artifacts along the Snake River.

Leaving home at the age of 18, Newcomb escaped his distaste of milking cows by gaining employment at a service station before heeding his longing for a formal education. Briefly attending Idaho State University, he moved to Southern California where he earned a Bachelor's of Arts and a Master's Degree in Art from California State University Fullerton.

Combining his love of teaching and art, Newcomb has taught high school students for 25 years. The last 15 of those years, he's also pursued a professional career as an artist. As an educator he appreciates the opportunity to teach his students what he loves most. As an artist he is best known for his "photo realistic" images. That enjoyment is reflected in the quality of his work, and in the works of his students as well.

Currently residing in Oceanside, California, Newcomb continues to teach high school art classes while his art career grows and flourishes. Working from his home studio which he describes as a typical two-story, Southern California stucco, the artist sets about his work surrounded by two drafting tables, mirrors, stereo and "all the junk I can pack into it for resources," he says.

Equally skilled in watercolor, acrylic and opaque watercolor called gouache (pronounced gwash) nevertheless, it is his considerable skill at scratchboard that has caught the eye of most of his collectors. With only a handful of nationally acclaimed artists taking this art form to task due to the patience and hours required to master it, Newcomb can be justifiably proud of the stature he has acquired among his peers and collectors.

Just what is scratchboard anyway? The artist explains. "Scratchboard is a good quality illustration board or masonite coated with a fine layer of white clay which has been mixed with a binding agent or glue. This is then coated with a delicate layer of ink. Using a very fine, honed, needle-like tool, I then proceed to scratch or peck through the black ink, revealing the white clay," he says. "After spending an average of 90 to 120 hours per piece I then layer in watercolor washes. Usually a minimum of six layers of watercolor is needed to achieve the desired "glow" which constitutes good color in these pieces. Scratchboard is a medium which allows very little room for error, so I must concentrate on every passage and transition."

As for his creative process, he finds the most challenging is conceptualizing the idea. From there he does a thumbnail sketch in the form of a cartoon which is then transferred onto the scratchboard. The real work now begins with the scratching and painting. "My subject matter included everything from pandas to cowboys. I get my inspiration from photos I have taken, from my wife, other artists, on-sight field trips and what I ate for breakfast," he says.

Working a full day as a teacher and then painting into the night, Newcomb is supported in this 'round-the-clock lifestyle by his business manager and wife of 15 years, Cody. Both hail from the small farm community of Rupert, Idaho. Boasting a population of around 4,000 the area specializes in the growing of potatoes and sugar beets. "We went to high school together in Rupert," Cody says. "We hung out in the same crowd, but never dated then."

Sixteen years later, the two met again in their hometown during the local 4th of July celebration. A year later, the couple stopped in Las Vegas for an impromptu wedding ceremony. Married in tennis shoes, jeans and sweatshirts, it was official. Part of his new family consisted of children from previous marriage; Rock's sons, Michael and Matt; and Cody's daughter Marcy.

Causes important to Newcomb include those organizations involved in wildlife and habitat preservation. "I've seen nature so misused and abused and in a declining state in my 50 years," he says. "I don't want it to disappear." The artist supports such organizations as The Nature Conservancy, The San Diego Zoological Society and World Wildlife Fund.

Newcomb has an impressive list of awards and exhibitions to his credit including Yawkey Woodson Birds in Art, and Wildlife in Art; and Arts for the Parks - top 100. He has been a featured artist for Safari Club International and Southern California Ducks Unlimited. Articles in national art magazines such as U.S. Art, Wildlife Art News, The Hunter's Horn Magazine and Artist's Magazine confer well-deserved accolades.

Recently, the Vermont publishing house of Applejack Limited Editions, recognizing the quality of Newcomb's work, penned a contract with the artist to act as his agent in both the limited edition print and licensing markets.

Although Newcomb finds fulfillment as an educator, his heart's desire is to devote undiluted focus on his professional art career. With his philosophy of self reliance and a burning desire to succeed, he possesses the attributes and talent to make that dream a reality.

RONALD S. PARKER

Ron Parker began painting as a career a little late in life. At the age of 35, he was inspired, after seeing an exhibition of original paintings by Fenwick Lansdowne, to try painting wildlife himself. His first effort, in 1977, was successful and he quit work and began painting full time. Using watercolors, a medium with which he was familiar, he began doing vignette paintings of birds and mammals. Within four months he was selling originals through the Harrison Gallery in Vancouver.

As a young man, Ron had been a basketball player and the Canadian Decathlon Champion in 1966. Using the discipline and perseverance learned in athletic training, he applied himself full time to improving his art. Over the next twenty years, Ron continued to improve his artwork taking what began as illustration to complete paintings that created mood and feeling in their depiction’s of animals in their natural settings.

In order to collect materials for his paintings, Ron and his family have lived next to the Rocky Mountains and on Vancouver Island. He is a keen hiker and backpacker and has drawn on his back country experiences to create the authenticity and verisimilitude found in his paintings.

Although known for his wildlife, Ron is also a landscape artist and portraitist. He has been doing portraits of family members for the past 30 years and has begun doing portraits by commission.

JUDI E. RIDEOUT

Judi’s interest in wildlife grew out of her girlhood in Nebraska, and later, Minnesota where fishing and hunting for wild game was an interest shared with her father, brother and later her husband. Eventually, in 1974, the Rideout family moved to Palmer, Alaska, where she found pastel painting added a new challenge and expanded her interest and respect for the animals she portrays as reflected in her work.

As a wildlife realist artist, Judi defines realism as a careful attention to the study of detail - hair growing in the right direction, reflecting both sheen and softness - the eyes of a wild animal show a momentary restful concentration while at the same time remaining alert. For Judi, all must be carefully noted and portrayed. Her devotion to the subjects she depicts eliminates the need for detailed backgrounds. The viewer is given a sense of the habitat while the animals themselves are stated in meticulous detail and command full attention. Judi is, after all, an animal portrait artist, and she regards the comparison of her work to photography as that of the highest compliments. But, beyond a perfectly clear image, Judi captures the nature of each animal’s gentle nobility.

RICHARD SLOAN

Richard Sloan, born in Chicago, Illinois, attended the American Academy of Art and worked as an advertising illustrator before joining Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo as a staff artist.

Sloan's paintings have been featured in Readers Digest, national and international wildlife magazines, U.S. Art, Wildlife Art and numerous outdoor publications including Arizona Wildlife-Magazine. His works have been exhibited at Explores Hall, The National Geographic Society, The British Museum of Natural History, The Royal Scottish Academy, The Carnegie Museum, The California Academy of Sciences, The American Museum of Natural History and other museums and galleries throughout the United States. He has received two Awards of Excellence from The Society of Animal Artists.

Since 1979, his work has been exhibited in 18 Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum "Birds in Art Exhibitions," and in 1994, the museum conferred upon Sloan the award of Master Wildlife Artist, the highest honor given to a contemporary animal painter.

Sloan's works are included in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. The Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, WI; The Illinois State Museum, Springfield, IL; and private collections throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, South America, Japan and the United Arab Emirates.

He has executed commissions for the World Wildlife Fund, including First Day cover caches and postage stamps for Trinidad and Tobago, Guatemala, the Philippines and the Falkland Islands. The Book "Raptors of Arizona" published by the University of Arizona Press and released in the spring of 1998, contains a series of 42 Sloan paintings. His work also appears in three recently published books: "More Wildlife Paintings: Techniques of Modern Masters" and "The Best of Wildlife Art" and "The Best of Wildlife Art #2."

Sloan's widely acclaimed paintings of the flora and fauna of the world's rain forests are the results of extensive field work in the jungles of Mexico, Central and South America and his love for their inhabitants. Since 1969, Sloan has embarked on 15 expeditions into Guatemala, Trinidad and Tobago, Belize, Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, the Amazon Basin and the Peruvian Andes.

DEE SMITH

Dee Smith's work has been included on the national tours of art museums with the prestigious Birds in Art Exhibitions of the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum and the Society of Animal Artists Annual Exhibitions. His work has been shown in galleries and natural history museums in the United States, Canada and in the Wildlife Art exhibition at Christie's in England. He has won many first place and Best of Show awards including winning the Florida Wildlife magazine cover art competition in 1989, 1990 and 1997. His painting "Two of a kind" was the 1993 Texas Non-Game stamp and Limited Edition print. In 1994, he won the esteemed Purchase Award and the Press Print Award at the Society of Animal Artists 34th Annual Exhibition.

His work is in many collections including the permanent collection of the Bennington Center for the Arts in Vermont and the State of Florida. In 1990, 1996 and 1997, his work "The Suitor" of Great Egrets, was included in the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum's "Birds in Art" exhibition and the following national tours. In 1997, his work was published in "The Best of Wildlife Art - 96 of the World's Finest Wildlife Artists" by North Light Books. The city of Ocala, Florida published a Limited Edition print of his "Close Encounter" of Purple Gallinules and a turtle. It was presented to Gov. Chiles and each member of the Florida Legislative. Dee's painting "The Suitor" won the "People's Choice Award" in the 1997 "Art and the Animal Kingdom" exhibition at the Bennington Center for the Arts. His painting, "Still Waters" of Wood Storks exhibited at Disney's Animal Kingdom as part of the "Art and the Animal" show in 1998. Dee's paintings are a part of the National Wildlife Federation's year 2000 calendar.

Many of Dee's paintings are in Limited Edition and open edition prints through Flight Feather Publishing and Applejack Limited Editions.

JEFF TIFT

For more than a decade, wildlife artist Jeff Tift has dedicated himself to his passion - portraying the natural beauty of the magnificent Pacific Northwest through his paintings. A native of Washington state, Jeff draws his inspiration form his surroundings, researching and studying the wildlife indigenous to his home.

Jeff’s relentless devotion to capturing the beauty of nature on canvas - combined with his enormous talent - has brought him remarkable success and recognition. His works have been represented in some of the most prestigious wildlife art exhibitions in the United States and Canada, and he is the proud recipient of the “Best of Show” award at the famed Pacific Rim Wildlife Show and the People’s Choice Award at the Milwaukee Sports Show.

Concerned with the rapid decline of our country’s environment and the loss of many species of animals, Jeff is motivated by an intense desire to preserve our wildlife in paintings for future generations to appreciate and enjoy. Through his art, Jeff strives to help foster a greater respect and understanding for the world around us.

BOB TRAVERS

Bob Travers received his formal education at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York. Graduating with a BFA in Drawing, Painting and Education, Bob set his sights towards the field of Commercial Illustrations. By 1978, he had secured the position of Art Director with a publishing house in New York City. There his creativity extended into the areas of Graphic Design, Layout and Mechanicals, as well as Editorial and Cover Illustration for the many magazines under his direction. By 1980, Bob had expanded his number of freelance clientele, allowing him to totally pursue his illustration technique. Bob signed with an agent in 1983, and his career skyrocketed.

In 1988 Bob Travers left behind a successful career as a Commercial Artist to pursue his passion for painting wildlife. At his first juried Wildlife Exhibit, in June, 1989, Bob swept the show winning six major awards including the People’s Choice Award and Best in Show, securing Bob the title of Artist of the Year. Bob has continued winning such awards.

Bob is found in his studio daily bringing together his past experiences and setting new goals. “I have a deep respect for nature and wildlife. That respect is the inspiration for my work. What I capture in my paintings are the kind of scenes that should be preserved in nature for generations to come!”



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