May I Introduce Skip Whitcomb?

30 Apr 2011

Dawn, High Tide-Navesink River by Skip Whitcomb, oil painting on linen, 10 x 20.
Dawn, High Tide-Navesink River by Skip Whitcomb,
oil painting on linen, 10 x 20.
Skip Whitcomb: Weekend With the Masters Instructor

Born in 1946, M.W. Skip Whitcomb has been interested in art since his childhood on a ranch near Sterling, Colorado. However, Whitcomb decided to pursue a professional artistic career only when a university drawing professor provided the encouragement he needed. Whitcomb enrolled at the Art Center College of Design, in Los Angeles, where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1971. Whitcomb's artistic career was advanced further when he moved back to Colorado and became acquainted with the Denver group, a loosely-affiliated but highly energetic group of traditional painters, draftsmen, and sculptors instrumental in helping Whitcomb become established as an artist. He has been painting ever since.

For Whitcomb, painting is just one facet of the creative process, one that equally includes literature and music: Whitcomb learns as much about his work from the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Claude Debussy as he does from classic painters. Each of Whitcomb's oil paintings goes through a unique evolutionary process from sketch to field study to finished image. Whether working with oil or pastel, Whitcomb is conscious of every stroke, every mark. Each element of his painting is relevant and deliberate, combining to create within the viewer some emotion, some observation that the artist makes about the world itself.

"The most obvious way to paint nature is standing in the middle of it," Whitcomb says. "If I keep an open mind, I see all these wonderful relationships and juxtapositions I could never invent in the studio. I try to look at the landscape as if I were seeing it for the very first time. You have to paint from inside yourself; otherwise you are simply recording like a camera. There really is a higher reality."

Whitcomb has participated in gallery shows and invitational museum exhibitions throughout the country, including those at The National Academy, in New York City; The Gilcrease Museum of the Americas, in Tulsa, Oklahoma; the National Academy of Western Art, in Oklahoma City; and the Bradford Brinton Museum, in Big Horn, Wyoming. Whitcomb, who is listed in Who's Who in American Art, is a past winner of the Grand Prize in Pastel Journal's international juried competition. He and his paintings have been featured in numerous magazines, including Southwest Art, American Artist, and Plein Air. His work is in several public and private collections, such as those of Santa Fe Railroad, in Chicago, Merrill Lynch, in New York City, and Sen. Alan K. Simpson and Sen. John Warner. Whitcomb is also a signature member of Plein-Air Painters of America and a respected instructor of numerous workshops each year. He is represented by Gerald Peters Gallery, in Santa Fe, and Simpson Gallagher Gallery, in Cody, Wyoming. For more information on Whitcomb, visit his website.

Return to the Weekend With the Masters Meet & Greet.

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