Tuesday, November 3, 2009

BRUSHWORK CAN TELL A STORY




© Morgan Weistling

Santa Clarita resident, Morgan Weistling is recognized as one of America’s top contemporary painters. He draws upon his many years as an illustrator to create masterful compositions. Most often, his subjects are period pieces, evoking a gentle and gracious time. His paintings have a deep sense of history due to research and authentic costumes.
At Autry National Center’s Masters of the American West he was the recipient of the 2000 David P. Usher Patron’s Choice Award, the 2003 the Trustees’ Purchase Award, and the 2007 and 2008 David P. Usher Patron’s Choice and Booth Museum of Western Artists’ Choice awards. In 2001, he became the youngest recipient of the coveted Prix de West Purchase Award and Nona Jean Hulsey Buyer’s Choice Award. In 2008 he received his second Prix de West Purchase award.
(Cowboy Festival)
Working in a Los Angeles art supply store while attending art school, Morgan Weistling often showed some of his own work to noted artists whenever they came in. One such customer was a famous movie poster artist. As a result of their chance encounter, at the age of 19, Weistling began a notable career as an illustrator. He became well known in the film industry for his illustrations whose amazing celebrity likenesses promoted movies and their merchandise such as Anastasia, The Santa Clause, Last Action Hero, The Lost World and countless action thrillers. The list of movie stars whose features Weistling has flawlessly captured reads like a stroll down the star-studded sidewalks of Hollywood Boulevard, and his clients have included many major studios.
In addition to movie posters, he has designed inspirational, nostalgic and science fiction collector plate series as well as artwork for Sega pinball machines. He also created all the cover artwork for the video series, McGee and Me for Focus on the Family, and his art can be seen on numerous magazine, book, CD and video covers. The winner of many awards from the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles, he has taught at the Associates in Art.
Weistling, his wife, JoAnn, who is also an artist, and their daughter, Brittany, make their home in California. Recently, when Weistling turned his considerable talents to fine gallery art, he found himself unable to keep up with collector demand for his originals. His amazingly realistic paintings and subjects make the viewer feel like an eyewitness to an unfolding scene due, in part, to his experience in the film industry.
Weistling thinks like a skilled cinematographer, envisioning himself as part of the scene that he is painting. He then visualizes how it would look on the movie screen. With his masterful use of oils, he makes the transition from his imagination to the canvas, bringing the scene to life with spectacular lighting to fully involve the viewers imagination and emotions.
Whether capturing unforgettable moments from the big screen, images inspired by his beliefs, or little scenes from daily life, the art of Morgan Weistling engages the mind and touches the heart.
(Online Art Mall)


Feeding the Geese
© Morgan Weistling

"Growing up on the farm", says Morgan Weistling, "I loved to feed the animals." "This painting (above) brings back childhood memories of my two sisters and myself. I love to paint geese because their natural design is so decorative. I named each goose as I painted it. I had Daisy, Lobelia, Bungo, Pippin, Eleanor and Hamfast and had some fun painting Bingo, the lone duck, peering out at the viewer." Morgan was recently featured in Western Art Collector Magazine in an article that declared, he can paint any subject matter still life, landscape or figurative work. His painterly style, control of light and color values are outstanding. Weistling was also heralded as an heir apparent to modern Western masters Howard Terpning and Mian Situ in Art of the West Magazine's 20th Anniversary issue - Morgan Weistling
(Search Artline Etc)


Ethans's Lantern
© Morgan Weistling

"We can only see what the light reveals to us", says artist Morgan Weistling. "To this boy (above), the lantern is a mystery worthy of his fascination. As young Ethan lit his lantern and slowly raised the wick, I was drawn to capture his form as it emerged from the darkness. I am always inspired by the challenge of editing what I see down to the bare essentials that let the viewer understand what I observed without the distractions of unnecessary details." - Morgan Weistling
(Search Artline Etc)


Oregon Trail Family, 1848
© Morgan Weistling


“I have been fascinated with stories about the Oregon Trail (above) and Santa Fe Trail since I was a child,” says Morgan Weistling. “My grandmother used to tell me how my ancestors had travelled by covered wagon to their new home in the West. She would show me little mementos that had been handed down from that time. When I decided to finally depict a scene from this historic event, I dived into piles of research that are available. Many of the women along the trail kept diaries that give us daily accounts of their journey. I chose to capture what they called the 'favorite time of the day.’ After walking for eight hours, toiling with oxen and any number of problems, they would set up for the night and rest. A campfire and some music went a long way toward spreading some peace at the end of a very hard day. In some ways this painting is a continuation of a theme that I plan to continue. My 2008 painting, "Indian Stories", is about a grandfather telling stories about his travels on the Oregon Trail and his meetings with Indians and the trades he had made with them.”
( 2003 Artifacts Gallery)


First Dance, 1884 America
© Morgan Weistling


The idea for the painting (above), begun as a sketchbook drawing years ago, had taken years to come to fruition. In addition to finding the perfect models, costumes and composition, Morgan did not want to begin on the painting until he could give it his full concentration. Finally, one day, he began to create what John Geraghty described in Western Art Collector as "his signature work, an absolute master work."
Why paint a wedding? "I wanted to celebrate the institution of marriage," says Weistling. "I have been married to my lovely wife JoAnn for 17 years. I thought of the commitment we made in front of family and friends and what a wonderful feeling it would be to do a painting about that." - Morgan Weistling
(2003 Artifacts Gallery)


Indian Stories
Winner of the 2008 Prix de West Purchase Award
© Morgan Weistling


To the surprise of absolutely no one with their finger on the pulse of the art world, Morgan Weistling's Indian Stories (above) was announced as the winner of the 2008 Prix de West Purchase Award. About the painting Weistling said, "I wanted to capture the tradition of storytelling on canvas and worked on the idea for several years.The painting began with the idea of a grandfather telling stories of his adventures on the Oregon Trail. His grandchildren become completely absorbed by his tale of how he was befriended by the Blackfoot Indians and their gift of the pipe. While we can imagine that this is not the first time their grandmother has heard the story, her delight is in the children's reactions. Like The Quilting Bee, 19th Century Americana, which took another of the Western art world's highest honors, Indian Stories is destined itself to become a cherished part of American art history."
(Search Artline Etc)


Dreams in Gold
© Morgan Weistling


With his masterful use of oils, artist Morgan Weistling brings a scene to life and engages our imagination and emotion."Patterns and shapes, arranged in a pleasing design, are the basis for Dreams in Gold (above)," says Weistling. "I love taking a simple story of a girl who has fallen asleep after reading in bed, and breaking it down to an abstract design. Painting her from above, everything looked new to me. Shapes flattened out and felt dreamlike and floating. This perspective suspended her in a state of weightlessness. Surrounding her in yellows and warm gold colors added to the peacefulness of her mood."
( 2003 Artifacts Gallery)


Dreams in Blue
© Morgan Weistling


The theme artist Morgan Weistling began in Dreams in Gold, matures in Dreams in Blue (above). “I loved painting this girl from above because it allowed me to see things from a perspective of unhindered patterns and flowing shapes. As this painting started to come together I realized that my model was floating in a world of her own. This illusion represents a sense of freedom that figure painters rarely get to enjoy—the freedom from gravity,” says Weistling. Imagination and emotion are enhanced by his masterful use of oils. Having her bathed in shades of blues and cool colors added an almost underwater quality to the work. This sense of fluidity and motion contrasts with the near static state of sleep, creating a still life work. More importantly, it hints at the far more expansive realm of dreams she resides in.
(he Greenwich Workshop®, Inc)


A Helping Hand
Prix de West, Oklahoma
© Morgan Weistling


"I learned a lot about spinning wheels (above) while painting this piece and how different threads and yarns were spun from fleece a century ago by pioneer women. It is a very quiet, serene and meditative art form that I witnessed as my model worked in my studio for hours as I painted. This is also the perfect backdrop for a two year old to wreak havoc and I am experiencing this part first hand in my studio every day with our child. One can imagine this mother's reaction when she soon turns to see why her girl is being so quiet!"-Morgan Weistling
(Search Artline Etc)



"Confidante"
© Morgan Weistling


Morgan Weistling’s contemporary impressionism describes a timeless America of the not-too-distant past, as well as the beauty of everyday childhood moments. His 2009 Greenwich Workshop release, A Helping Hand, graced the cover of Western Art Collector last June and Confidante (above), his November release, is the cover image of Art of the West for November/December 2009. Weistling has won numerous prestigious awards including awards from the Autry Museum of Western Heritage and the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.
This new fine art edition is a portrait of calm and confidence born of love and friendship. “It’s is a painting of my daughter, Brittany, and her cat, Precious,” says artist Morgan Weistling. “Precious has since passed on. She was Brittany’s best friend and my daughter spent many hours talking to her about personal things that only they shared. Confidante (above) is a tribute to a bond that all pet lovers will understand.”
( 2003 Artifacts Gallery)


Pocket Watch
© Morgan Weistling


“Sometimes I will get an idea for a painting and it turns into something else once my models are posing,” artist Morgan Weistling says of Pocket Watch (above). “This painting was originally going to be titled Tea for Grandpa and my daughter Brittany was suppose to be handing her Grandpa a cup of tea. Well, Grandpa had a shiny pocket watch Brittany had never seen one before. During a break in the studio, this scene took place and it rang with the sweet innocence of a curious child. I like to strive for truthfulness such as this in my paintings. That's when I connect to the painting and my hope is that it will reach the viewer, too.” It is this “striving for truthfulness” in the craft of painting and narrative that touches the viewer’s heart and sets Weistling’s work apart from others.
(© 2003 Artifacts Gallery)


Reflection
Oil on canvas
© Morgan Weistling


Brushwork can tell a story beyond the subject matter, and in the art of Morgan Weistling, his mastery of this talent rivals that of the masters he admires, including John Singer Sargent and Anders Zorn. Creating a dreamlike narrative inspired by scenes from daily life with an essence of the Old West, Weistling’s Reflections (above) has a sense of wonder and emotion captured with the same deftness as his first pair of Greenwich releases, Lemon Girl and Trusted Friends.
“For me, art is my language used to touch the viewer’s heart,” Morgan says. “My hope is that people will get pleasure from viewing my artwork as much I enjoyed painting it.” - Morgan Weistling
( 2003 Artifacts Gallery)


Lemon Girl
© Morgan Weistling


“I love color harmonies that provoke a mood,” says artist Morgan Weistling. “While creating Lemon Girl (above), I was inspired by the juxtaposition of the girl against the subtle greens and blues which ran through the background.”
“When I paint, I prefer to suggest the form of my subject, giving impressions of what I see so that the viewer can interpret the painting for themselves. I regard this as my poem about the Lemon Girl rather than my full-fledged novel. This allows the viewer to fill in their own details, drawing them in as part of the painting.” - Morgan Weistling
(2003 Artifacts Gallery)


Trusted Friends
© Morgan Weistling


“In my search for interesting people to paint, I came to know this gentleman named Mickey Michele,” says Morgan Weistling. “He is a fifth generation Californian whose great, great grandfather was a vaquero and horse trainer in 1890s Los Angeles. The art of horse training has been passed down from generation to generation and he follows in the footsteps of his grandfather. Mickey trains horses for mounted shooting and is an expert in firearms of the old West. I have painted him with his Trusted Friends (above) that have served him so well, and I purposely used a rough textured painting style to convey his personality.” - Morgan Weistling
(© 2003 Artifacts Gallery)


Serenity
© Morgan Weistling


Morgan Weistling’s original painting Serenity (above) sold for $40,000 during the Masters of the American West Fine Art Exhibition and Sale at the Museum of the American West in Los Angeles. “There are paintings that we, as artists, carry in our heads for years before they materialize,” says Morgan Weistling. “Serenity is one of them. An artist not only visualizes a painting through its final stroke, but the entire presentation of the work to its completed state of being framed and hung on the wall."
(2003 Artifacts Gallery)


Apple Girl
© Morgan Weistling


Artist Morgan Weistling’s portraits of young children are among his most popular paintings with collectors. This delicate image of a girl amid a bounty of fall apples (above), laced with ruby, gold and grey tones, speaks volumes on the inner life of children. The darling kitchen helper, in her bonnet and smock, exudes the wonder of childhood innocence and grace. Just as we all recognize youth’s fleeting nature, all the more fleeting are the moments such as this.
(© 2003 Artifacts Gallery)


The Quilting Bee
© Morgan Weistling


“There are times when an idea for a painting will linger for years in my mind before it is ever committed to canvas. I’ve thought about this painting for at least 15 years. It all began when my mother showed me a quilt her grandmother had made as a little girl in the late 1800s. I was amazed by its detail and beauty. I began to research quilt-making and discovered the wonderful American tradition of quilting bees, and I knew I had my painting. At a quilting bee (above), women would have family and neighbors gather to finish a quilt. It was a real community event. Often a quilt was made to mark a special occasion, such as a wedding or an upcoming journey. The older, more experienced women would do most of the quilt work, but as in my painting, the less experienced would learn the craft alongside the veterans. The quilt in this painting is the actual quilt my great-grandmother made as a little girl, which made the creative process all the more personal for me.”
(© 2003 Artifacts Gallery)






The Quilting Bee , 19th Century Americana Close-Ups
© Morgan Weistling


Morgan Weistling’s painting The Quilting Bee, 19th Century Americana took this year’s Masters of the American West show at the Autry Museum by storm.The painting received the Artists’ Choice Award, which is given by artists participating in the exhibition and sale. The Quilting Bee, 19th Century Americana was also the recipient of the David P. Usher Patron’s Choice Award, which is given in recognition of the work most popular with patrons of the exhibition.
“Receiving recognition from my peers is a high honor,” says Weistling. “Most artists will tell you that we mostly paint for the approval of other artists.They are the most critical and their approval is hard to earn. Winning the Patron’s Choice Award was also a great honor, since it is voted on by the collectors, as well as being named for The Greenwich Workshop’s founder Dave Usher.”
The Masters of the American West show is a pivotal event in the careers of many Greenwich Workshop artists. Chris Blossom, John Buxton, June Carey, Don Crowley, Bonnie Marris, Mian Situ, Daniel Smith, Howard Terpning and Kim Wiggins were all among this year’s participants and former award winners include Don Crowley, Mian Situ and Howard Terpning.
Weistling’s award-winning painting had a reserve price of $75,000 and sold for $162,000. Ordinarily, a high-profile painting like The Quilting Bee would be out of reach for the average collector, but through the Greenwich Workshop’s high-quality reproduction process, you can own your very own exceptional Morgan Weistling limited edition canvas giclée for a fraction of the cost.
(Greenwich Workshop)


The Gardener
© Morgan Weistling


Morgan Weistling’s contemporary impressionism describes the innocence and wonder of a timeless America, as well as the beauty of everyday moments. Weistling is inspired by country life and particularly the lives of children with their irrepressible urge to explore. Morgan says of his model “Her name is Jessica and I discovered her while she attended a Christmas play. As soon as I saw her, painting ideas began to come to me. I imagined her coming in from her grandmother’s garden with her newly picked prizes.”
In the tradition of the artist’s irresistible recent releases Spilled Milk and Juicy Peach, The Gardener portrays the magical innocence of a darling garden helper, in her straw hat and crisp white apron, from a not-too-distant rural American past. She holds her beets tentatively, perhaps because of her white apron! Who wouldn’t want this little gardener’s help?
(© 2003 Artifacts Gallery)


Spilled Milk
© Morgan Weistling


In Spilled Milk (above), Weistling continues the journey into the wondrous inner life of children. In the quiet light of morning, a round-cheeked toddler stands in her own little corner, out of the way of busy adults. She tilts a pitcher of milk carefully, watching closely as every drop splashes onto the floor of the kitchen. The little milkmaid in the cranberrycolored dress has no motivation but curiosity and her actions stir within all of us a remembrance of our own innocence.
(© 2003 Artifacts Gallery)


Juicy Peach
© Morgan Weistling


“My subject matter is a reflection of the joys I experience in my own life. I am surrounded by the beauty of my wife and two daughters. This little cherub (above) is my youngest, Sienna Rose. This marks the second painting of her so far with many more to come. I love the way children hold objects that are new to them and Sienna was particularly entranced with her first peach. After looking at the peach for a while, she put it right in her mouth and we learned just how juicy it was.”-Morgan Weistling
Juicy Peach is a celebration of childhood innocence and the wonders of exploration.
( 2003 Artifacts Gallery)


The Egg Inspector
© Morgan Weistling


Coming on the heels of Emmie’s Catch, Morgan Weistling’s sold-out contribution to the Greenwich Workshop SmallWorksTM collection, is The Egg Inspector (above). "I never cease to be inspired by the wonder and curiosity of children,” says Weistling. “This little farm girl loves to spend time with her chickens and found her way into the coop one day. This serene moment I painted changed rapidly after she decided to stick her thumbs into the eggs to see what would happen. It got pretty messy."
(© 2003 Artifacts Gallery)


Sisters
© Morgan Weistling


Is solace anywhere more comforting than in the arms of a sister? - Alice Walker. The newest limited edition release tenderly depicts the bond between two sisters. Sisters (above) is a warm portrait of the beauty of the sibling relationship, a relationship that will only grow stronger in the face of adversity and with the passage of time. “The love between these sisters, who are very close in real life, is testimony to the love and caring possible in our families. Many people are fortunate to have their siblings as their best friends.”
(© 2003 Artifacts Gallery)
With his masterful use of oils, Morgan Weistling brings a scene to life with spectacular lighting, creating a sense of wonder and engaging the viewer’s imagination and emotion. His dreamlike images touch the viewer’s heart, using more than sentimentality to engage the viewer. His canvases are filled with brushwork that tells a story beyond the subject matter. Like a skilled movie director, he manipulates the focus of interest with suggestions and impressions of forms that are barely realized and allow the viewer’s imagination to fill in the details. “There is a story underneath the story of my paintings,” Morgan adds, “I don’t hide the process of how I painted it. You can see the layers and count the strokes it took to get there. With some styles of painting, the closer you get to the canvas, the more you will see. With mine, the more you step back, the more detail you will see. That’s not easy, which is why it fascinates me.” Morgan Weistling follows in the footsteps of the masters he admires, John Singer Sargent, Anders Zorn and Nicolai Fechin as well as many others. In all of his vibrant work, from western art to feminine forms, Weistling crafts a narrative, driven by clarity, focus and purpose, drawing on images inspired by his beliefs and scenes from daily life. “My hope is that people will enjoy viewing my artwork as much I enjoyed painting it. For me, art is my language used to communicate to others how I see God’s creation. When I experience another artist’s work, I love to see through their eyes and find out as much about the artist as the subject they painted. That is what makes art so interesting.”
(ARTCOUNTRYCANADA.COM)


Ophelia
© Morgan Weistling


Reflection
© Morgan Weistling


Salon
Oil on canvas
© Morgan Weistling


Pepper
Oil on canvas
© Morgan Weistling


The Dance
Oil on canvas
Private collection
© Morgan Weistling


Goats and Roses
Oil on canvas
© Morgan Weistling


Teamwork
Oil on canvas
Private collection
© Morgan Weistling


Emmie's Rose
Oil on canvas
Private collection
© Morgan Weistling


Red
© Morgan Weistling


Tangerines
© Morgan Weistling



© Morgan Weistling


Liliedahl Video Productions spent a full week in Morgan Weistling's studio filming the entire painting process of this beautiful work (above), which was created for a gallery sale. This is not the typical demonstration painting seen in workshops. It was painted over a period of six days with Morgan providing a continuous commentary about his drawing and painting process. Morgan receives countless invitations to teach workshops around the country, but due to his gallery and show obligations, his opportunity to teach is rare. So to be able to reach the painters who want to study with him, but can’t, he filmed this video to fill that need.
(Liliedahl Enterprises, Inc)



© Morgan Weistling











Demostrations by Morgan Weistling
© Morgan Weistling





Morgan Weistling's 2003 Workshop
© Morgan Weistling


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