|O-207 Leapard by John Lovewell 36x24 $2400|
Statement from the artist:
It is my pleasure to personally share some things in my life that have contributed to my love of wildlife and the wilderness and the desire to express this in the field of art.
I was born in Cody, Wyoming and raised in Kalispell, Montana, not far from Glacier National Park. What a great time I had growing up, going fishing and hunting with my father and as a teen hiking with my buddies into the back country wilderness with my trusty 35 mm SLR.
I guess I was drawing birds and animals as soon as I could hold up a pencil, I took up taxidermy at 12 years old, and bacame the town stuffer as people began dropping off specimens on the front porch. I was also called on to draw and paint things, even symbols on the sides of Teepees, and I enjoyed illustrating the High School Annual, with scenes from Indian life.
Although I left the area, my heart was always there, like getting all choked up in cowboy movies when I saw the Mountain Scenery. I did make it a point to always take my wife and sons to Yellowstone Park every summer for vacation, where I continued to take pictures of old snags and rocks and scenery that I filed away for future use in bringing back old memories on canvas when I had free time.
That is why I strive for realism, so the painting can be convincing enough that you fell you have stepped into an actual scene of nature and you are there for real, witnessing some kind of drama or action, which then usually means ... predators.
I was largely self-taught, but felt encouraged when individuals would buy my efforts ... and even more so when some of my pieces were accepted into the Los Angeles Audubon Society Wildlife and Environmental Art Show.
When I found time, I would take hikes into the Sierras and so finally I decided to move to Sonora, to be c lose by the mountains.
This was a great decision ... here the Oil Painting World of technique and color was really opened up to me by a local artist and teacher, Gereon Rios of the Sonora Academy of Fine Arts.
I hope then, that for my efforts will be successful in bringing a measure of appreciation for God's wonderful creations and that my experiences and memories will develop scenes that will perhaps evoke the same joys I have and that lie deep in the soul of those who have tramped in the woods ... or even maybe those who were only able to dream about it.