Mountain Pass Southern Pacific Railroad
David Tutwiler holds the honor of having his paintings hang in some of America's most prestigious collections, both public and private. Including collections of the Pepsi Cola Co., the National Railway Historical Society, and the Sloan Collection of Valparaiso University.
He began painting at the young age of fourteen, with a scholarship to the Art Institute of Chicago. He went on to study and graduate from the American Academy of Art with an Associates Degree in Fine Art.
David has participated in many National Exhibitions such as the Mystic Seaport International, the Oil Painters of America, and the Great American Artists exhibitions, Cincinnati, Ohio. In addition to being one of America's foremost painters of Steam Era Railroad subjects, his portfolio also includes significant works depicting traditional American landscapes and coastal subjects of the sea coasts and the Great Lakes. David maintains a studio on the southern shores of Lake Michigan and a summer gallery in Rockport Mass. with his wife Line, also an accomplished professional artist, and the mother of their six children.
Bambi's Winter Wonderland
Inspired to find history alive and woven into the romance of life, David has spent over 30 years painting from the gifts that surround him in his faith, family, friends and diversity of life. In addition to being one of America’s foremost painters of steam era railroading, David has painted significant pieces depicting traditional American landscapes and sailing vessels. He has won numerous awards including the Marguerite Pearson Gold Medal and the National Park Academy Bronze Medal.
David lives just about three miles beyond the South Shore headquarters, right along Route 12. He and his wife Line were most gracious. They live within listening distance of the South Shore line and close to the Dunes area. They split their time between Indiana and Rockport, Massachusetts. David and Line had a very cozy studio, separate from the house. It was filled with David's artwork, and of course, railroad memorabilia. The wood stove made things quite comfortable, and it must be very pleasant place to be on a cold, wintry day. David is originally from Chicago, and received much of his initial training through The American Academy of Fine Art. He even met his wife there! He has always been interested in trains. When he graduated, he saw so many of his classmates go into other jobs, just to pay the rent. He decided that he would try being a painter one day at a time. One day turned into months, and the months turned into years, and here he is, as he said, "Still painting for a living".
Out of the Mist
"Out of the Mist", Tutwiler’s Indiana Salon Show winning painting, was inspired by a trip he took to Chama, New Mexico. The piece depicts a stop on the last active segment of the Rio Grande Railroad, which stretches from Chama to Colorado.
"That particular painting was one that I felt would be nice (to submit),” Tutwiler said. “The subject matter ties into the old railroad history of Indiana. The old Wabash and the railroad lines through Indiana go back along ways. There’s a lot of history there and part of the links that crisscrosses America.”
“(The Indiana Salon Show is) a great show to participate in,” he added. “It’s well orchestrated and they do a great job of putting it together.”
Over the course of his three–decades plus as a painter, Beverly Shores’ artist David Tutwiler has been on the right track when it comes to his art and the railroad strata.
“The train theme was one of the first things I ever sketched and drew, going back to third and fourth grade, and one of my first accomplishments was a painting that won me a scholarship into the School of the Art Institute, and that was of the train subject,” he said. “And each of the major achievements along the way seems to be train related somehow.”
Tutwiler, who is the Best of Show recipient at the Hoosier Salon at the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis, was reared in West Suburban Hinsdale, Ill. Along with trains and railroads, Tutwiler cited the Indiana Dunes and lakeshore as early influences on his art.
Along with his studies at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, he honed his craft at the American Academy of Art, where he met his wife, Line. For 31 years now, the Tutwilers have divided their time between Beverly Shores and Massachusetts, where they own and operate a namesake art studio.
While fortunate to be able to make a living for himself and his family as an artist, he cites advice he received decades ago from acclaimed American painter Richard Schmid as the guideline for aspiring artists today.
“(Schmid) said ‘You need to concentrate on painting and developing your painting and not worry about the money.’ When I started out, I took that to heart. I wasn’t trying to aim to make big money. I was aiming to make paintings that were of what experiences I’ve had and places I’ve traveled.
“Paintings should be windows to the imagination.”