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A. Keith Brodkin Contemporary Western Artists Project

Artists of Watercolor

Allen, Douglas

Born in New Jersey in 1935, Douglas Allen's interest in art started at a young age and was encouraged by his father, who would take him to visit museums and art dealers on weekends. Eventually, Allen took classes at the Ford Art School in Jersey City, New Jersey, and the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts, and lessons from Paul Branson. In high school, Allen spent time sketching animals at the Bronx Zoo, and wildlife remains a focus of his artwork. In the late 1950s, Allen illustrated a series in Outdoor Life magazine titled "Big Game Animals of North America," written by Jack O'Connor and George Goodwin. For this project, Allen created twenty oils of animals and eighty pen-and-ink drawings. The series ran for twenty months and was published as a book in 1961.
June 12, 2009 — 57 minutes — video

Bohler, Joseph & Alaina

Born and raised in Montana, Joseph Bohler's work has been influenced by the Montana landscapes and his experiences living on a farm. Bohler was commissioned to paint a portrait of Tex Ritter (actor, country singer and songwriter), which remains at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. In addition to painting and teaching workshops, Bohler is also a gifted musician.
June 11, 2004 — length — audio

Crowley, Don

While Don Crowley always had an interest in art, the idea to make a career as an artist did not occur to him until later in life, after serving in the U.S. Merchant Marines and then the Navy, when a friend recommended he take courses at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, California. After spending 20 years in New York City as a commercial artist, Crowley took the advice of James Bama and Sam Winsom to move west, and relocated to Tucson, Arizona. Crowley’s lifelong interest in western culture is evident in his paintings, especially in his detailed oil paintings of Native Americans, a focus of Crowley's. Crowley is also a part of the Tucson 7 and an active member of the Cowboy Artists of America.
November 11, 2004 — 1 hour 49 minutes — video

Hill, Tom

Tom Hill began studying art at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, California, before expanding his studies at the Art Institute of Chicago. In his early career, he had many interesting opportunities including designing sets at Universal Studios in Hollywood, California and working as an artist-reporter for the Chicago Tribune. Later, he moved to Arizona to pursue a career in fine art, writing, and teaching. In his work, Hill aims to capture the feeling or essence of something he has seen or lived. As a longtime resident of Arizona, Hill is also part of the Tucson 7.
June 8, 2002 — 1 hour 4 minutes — audio
November 15, 2003 — 2 hours 10 minutes — video

Hulings, Clark


Clark Hulings studied art in his youth, even enrolling in the Art Students League in New York City, but science interested him too. He graduated from Haverford College in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, with a degree in Physics. His degree helped him understand the rules of perspective and the laws of light. After graduating he had a job prospect in New Mexico, and while waiting for a decision to be made he started painting landscape scenes. He rediscovered his passion for painting and, when the job fell through, he started an illustration career in 1951. In 1962 Hulings retired from illustration and worked on his own art full time. In 1973, Hulings won the Prix de West during a National Academy of Western Art Exhibition for his oil painting, Grand Canyon, Kaibab Trail.
July 25, 2006 — 2 hours 42 minutes — video

Jones, Thomas William

Thomas William Jones began painting watercolor scenes as a young boy after watching and learning from his artist father. Inspired by his father, Jones was determined to develop his talent for watercolor to the best of his ability. Jones received formal artistic instruction from the Cleveland Institute of Art. His artwork reflects images of rural America, including places from his upbringing in Ohio as well the landscape of the Pacific Northwest.
June 22, 2009 — 1 hour 31 minutes — video

Kramer, James

James Kramer’s love of watercolor painting began at Ohio State University where he studied architecture and also during his training at the Cleveland School of Art. In 1970, Kramer left his professional career in architecture to become an artist full-time. Shortly thereafter, he moved to New Mexico to further develop his craft. Kramer has been a Prix de West artist for nearly three decades. Kuhn's acrylic painting The Lair of the Cat won the 1991 Prix de West Award from the National Academy of Western Art.
June 7, 2002 — 1 hour 1 minute — audio
June 7, 2002 — 33 minutes 38 seconds — audio

Quinn, Thomas

Thomas Quinn grew up in California and was fascinated with the wildlife around his home in Marin County. He graduated from the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles and pursed a career in New York illustrating people. In order to further develop his talent, he moved back to California to pursue illustrating his favorite subject, wildlife. Quinn is most known for his watercolor representations of nature.
June 9, 2006 — 1 hour 52 minutes — audio

Rippel, Morris


An architect for fifteen years before turning to painting full time, Rippel paints with technical skill and fine craftsmanship. His paintings of cottonwoods, canyons, and rural landscapes of his New Mexico homeland, convey his true love of the region. He is best known for his watercolors but he often experimented with egg tempera medium as well. In 1979, Rippel won during the National Academy of Western Art Exhibition the Prix de West Award for his egg tempera painting, Bluebirds.
June 9, 2001 — 55 minutes — audio
May 5, 2009 — 1 hour 23 minutes — video

Smith, Lowell Ellsworth


As the son of a musician mother and a father that worked with watercolors in his spare time, Lowell Ellsworth Smith grew up in a home full of creativity. Smith enrolled at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, but his higher education was cut short by World War II. When he had down time in the military he often sketched caricatures of other soldiers. In 1948, after returning from service and completing his education, he worked as a professional. Smith continued his illustration career for twelve years but in 1960 decided to focus on his personal art. In 1983, Smith won the Prix de West Award from the National Academy of Western Art for his watercolor Church Facade-Plaza del Oriente.
June 8, 2001 — 53 minutes — audio
September 25, 2002 — 1 hour 43 minutes — video
Finding Aid for the Lowell Ellsworth Smith Papers
Online Exhibit: The Art & Life of Lowell Ellsworth Smith

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