The Above the Timberline exhibition is now open at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Thirty original oils from the novel are on display, as well as cases of items used to create the story’s images. A special sculpture of the main polar bear, Grim, at life-size scale was provided by Dan Chudzinski. It’s magnificent!
The theme of the current show is The Art of Adventure, featuring seventy-five paintings by Frank E. Schoonover, a painter I’ve been easily influenced by over my years of study. The Timberline paintings were chosen to accompany the exhibit for their contemporary aspect, showing yet again how adventure never stops intriguing an audience.
At the museum’s website you’ll find a short video interview of me talking about my work, the struggle of getting attention for the portfolio, and working my way to becoming a professional. I also talk about the effort to bring Above the Timberline to fruition.
There are short videos with the museum’s resident illustrator, Patrick O’Donnell, Education Program and Outreach Manager, drawing and painting together, discussing practical methods and philosophies of work.
This Sunday, November 18th, I’ll give a talk and paint a demo, followed by a book signing. Over the next few months, I’ll be at the museum for talks, teaching opportunities, and other events. The full schedule is up at the site and everyone is welcome. There may be additional events planned, so check back from time to time.
Once again, I have watched awestruck as images from the novel, Above the Timberline, continue to gather enthusiasm from artists and readers for the experimental format I pursued. The strength of capturing an audience with visual impact has become an aspect of my work that grew out of many long years of consistent training.
I’ve made this training the basis of my SmArtSchool classes for several years now, and have discovered that many students are showing up ready to build worlds, tell stories, and develop characters they seem to have always had in the back of their minds. And it all starts with giving yourself the permission.
It isn’t easy. The struggle and frustration are simply part of the endeavor. Taking the long view of your career is not usually what we’re taught as art students. But I can tell you that never letting up from your pursuits can eventually bring reward in many ways.
It’s hard to express the honor of having your paintings hung on the walls of the greatest illustration museum in the world. The same walls as Norman Rockwell.
For those of you who have read this far, there’s one more thing. The new Coen Brothers movie, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, will premiere around the country and on Netflix this Friday, November 16th. I have 7 paintings and 7 b/w drawings in the film, all of the art you’ll see onscreen. You can’t miss them. They illustrate a book that’s part of the story. I even inked the gold embossed cover which is shown from the first frame.
I plan to write a post for Muddy about how I built the paintings and what it was like working with the Coen’s. (Entirely fun!) Coming soon…