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Lee Teter was born in April of 1959, just south of the Mason Dixon Line in the Appalachian Mountains. His forefathers had all been farmers since their arrival in America in 1727. Migrating from Germantown, Pennsylvania, down the Valley of Virginia, they became neighbors to Daniel Boone in North Carolina. They moved again in 1760 to what is now Pendleton County, West Virginia. There, with the Hinkle family, Lee's forefathers built a fort and stayed for almost two centuries. During the American Revolution the Teters and Hinkles fought for the American side and during the Civil war were found on both sides. Lee's mother's family had their American beginnings when a captured Hessian soldier "deserted" the prison camp he occupied in Virginia. This runaway Hessian moved into the mountains of West Virginia where he married and raised fine upstanding American children. With such a family history it is little wonder that the past interested Lee even as a child.
Lee was fascinated by the history handed down by his grandfather, Jacob S. Teter. A box of faded photographs, now in the possession of the artist, sat between 15 year old Lee and his grandfather as they spent hours discussing the people and mountain life-style that surrounded Jacob during his life. During those quiet talks Lee learned that history was about people. This focus on people and culture, instead of the politics of history, eventually became the foundation of Lee Teter's historical art.
Lee planned to live out his life in the mountains, cherishing and keeping the traditions of his grandfathers. Like them, he intended to be a farmer. The word "farming" no longer communicates the occupation as Lee was familiar with it. In the 1960's and 1970's Appalachian hill country, ancient Farmall tractors still pulled home-made wagons. Loaded with hand stacked bales of hay, these old tractors made their way to log or post and beam barns that were found on nearly every farm. Corn and other grain were stored in wooden cribs until it was fed to the farm animals. Meat was supplied from the hogs and cattle that were grown, slaughtered, and preserved right on the farm. Maple syrup was made the old way, with wooden paddles and cast iron kettles. Fires were kept burning with oak, hickory, and maple logs, slowly evaporating the sap till rich, smoky, amber syrup could be put into cans and jars. In the fall, kettles were hung again and applebutter was made. Hunting was a pleasure on the farm, but was not thought of as sport; beef was a cash crop and was to be replaced with deer meat and other wild game when possible. Hours were spent in the garden and on the porch preparing vegetables for canning and preservation. The cow was milked and the cream skimmed and churned into butter. Strawberries, cherries, peaches and apples were freshly picked. Cottage Cheese was made in the crock on the back porch. Fording Town Creek was part of the trip to school or to Helmick's store or "town". When the ice broke up on Town Creek, burlap bags of ice were gathered and broken with a hammer to fit into the "ice-cream maker" while cousins and uncles and aunts gathered to celebrate the end of another winter.
Such a life was the one Lee wanted from the time he was a small boy and one for which he prepared himself to live. Life in the hills changed before he knew it. Vacationers and disillusioned city dwellers began to buy up land for more money than could be generated by farming, increasing taxes with higher land values. As land was bought up and taken out of production, the old ways disappeared. Other economic and social changes made a traditional Appalachian future impossible for a young man without an inherited "patch of ground" or the means to generate money to buy increasingly valuable land. The family farm Lee grew up on was too small to support everyone, so after graduation Lee was forced to look elsewhere for a living.
There would be no college for Lee. After various jobs working at gas stations and landscaping or painting signs, automobiles, billboards, and just about anything else that could be painted, Lee started producing twenty-dollar portraits. His first big art sale came when Ron Shipway, who owned the gas station where Lee was employed, hired him to make a portrait of the station. Shipway gave him a very unexpected one hundred dollars for the picture. Such generosity was appreciated since times were rough in the hills. Major employers were laying people off and closing down. Money was tight. Making a living with art seemed like too much to hope for and while hardly daring to think it would work, Lee began to try. He opened a studio down the road from Helmick's store where he sold a few paintings. People chuckled at Lee's audacity and knowingly shook their heads when he closed his doors due to lack of business.
When Lee was twenty-one he met, and instantly loved, Miss Barbara Ellen Arnold. Barbara always believed in Lee and his dreams and stood by him from the time she was 16 years old, making hard times seem like fun. They were married when Barbara turned 18 and they tailored their lives to allow for a continued pursuit of art. Lee housed his new family on borrowed land in a 16 by 20 foot cabin that was heated with a fireplace. A new daughter made the cabin a home. Baby Racheal crawled around the drawing table as Lee worked hard to make a living with his art. In subsequent years they moved from place to place around the Pennsylvania-Maryland-West Virginia area as they struggled to gain a foothold in the art world. An undercurrent of restlessness was part of life for Lee as he tried to find a permanent home for his family and studio.
"Scraping by" would have been an improvement during the early years. Even living so plainly and augmenting his income by any type of painting he could find, Lee realized he was failing his little family. Then a picture of an Eastern Native American warrior was sold. The couple who bought the drawing and art dealer Betty Betz became the driving force behind Lee's beginning success in the art world. Betty ran a small shop in Deep Creek Lake Maryland where she introduced Lee's art to vacationers at the resort. Lee gained confidence through his association with Betty and serious art collectors. Other galleries in the region became interested in Lee's art when he reinvented the hand painted print. His initial reason for making hand painted pictures was that he could not afford full color prints. As he studied art and history he became more attached to the idea of art with the "artists touch" rather than copies like the standard limited edition print then in its prime. As the market for Lee's art grew his confidence grew as well. He began to paint with oils.
One of his first oil paintings was a portrait of the Vietnam Memorial called "Reflections". This picture came from the artist's heart as he tried to understand the death of loved ones. Feeling that it would be wrong to make money from this picture he freely gave the rights to make prints to a veterans group and went back to painting history. Though the prints of the painting continue to sell throughout the United States and the world, generating millions of dollars for veterans, Lee did not benefit greatly. He was pleased, however, to receive a letter from the Governor of West Virginia, Gaston Caperton, commending him for his insight and generosity. The veterans later bought the copyright for "Reflections" presenting Lee with enough money to buy a good used car. That car allowed him to travel and research the frontier history that had become the focus of his art.
Lee Teter's frontier art became successful. He studied hard, almost obsessively, to present accurate cultural portrayals of the Indians and frontiersmen who occupied the Eastern American frontier. Lee's art began to appear on national magazine covers and in galleries from New England to North Carolina. When film director Michael Mann began work on the 1991 version of "The Last of the Mohicans" Lee agreed to act as historical, and frontier culture adviser and as visual arts consultant. It was Lee's job to create the look and feel of the 18th century world that was the backdrop for the story made famous by James Fenimore Cooper. Lee was exposed to New York City, limousines and fine hotels complete with bell boys before he returned to his cabin in the hills.
Lee's situation improved. He was approached by Somerset House Publishing to produce frontier art for limited edition reproductions. After producing successful editions the reclusive artist once again elected to forego the jet planes and hotels in favor of the quiet hills and family at home. Lee and Somerset House Publishing parted with the understanding that the door was always open should he ever change his mind. Lee again took up pencil and brush to create hand painted prints. The demand for Lee Teter art grew with astounding rapidity. Lee had always been convinced that "artist produced" pictures would be more desirable than machine or press produced art. The popularity of his hand painted pictures proved this to him beyond a doubt. The frontier subject was also very popular and the years and miles Lee had put into research were obvious in his pictures. Lee Teter's unrivaled authenticity was appreciated by many collectors who were discovering the history of the land around them; history Lee Teter brought to life with his pencil drawings and scholarly research.
Lee moved into a small home in Pennsylvania, finally giving up on living the life he had fallen in love with as a child. The hills had changes forever and the world of Lee. s childhood belonged to the past. Almost.
During a trip to Wyoming Lee found a world very similar to the one that had escaped him. In a few moments of wind blown sunset on the edge of the Beaver Rim east of Lander, Lee decided to move West. With Barbara and Racheal, he moved into the midst of one of the largest Indian Reservations in the nation and into the heart of one of least populated states in America. Lee had grown up around cattle so he adapted readily to Wyoming life. Neighbors began to call Lee when they needed a good cow hand. Branding, doctoring, driving and herding cows took Lee into remote places of Wyoming. Occasionally he still stacked hay by the tractor trailer load with neighbor, John Dewy. The ways of Wyoming were familiar and pleasant for Lee. The best thing about Wyoming was that Lee's restless search for a home was over; now he could concentrate on art.
In spite of his success with oils and watercolor, pencil had always been Lee's favorite medium. Drawings have had a history of being difficult to print while preserving the feel of an original but during his first year in Wyoming Lee discovered Platinum Print Printing. After some initial experiments he knew platinum was the answer to his search for a perfect way to print his pencil drawings. This process had been prized for printing drawings in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and was a favored printing method for fine art photography. Lee discovered that platinum printing maintained all the subtle detail that was found in one of his highly complex pencil originals. He also found that platinum prints had a permanence unsurpassed in the art world and that he could print on fine art paper that would compliment his use of watercolor in making hand painted pictures. This rare printing method was difficult to learn and experimentation took a tremendous amount of time as he developed a system that worked for his drawings. The amount of art Lee produced took a plunge as he dedicated his time to an intense study of platinum printing. Galleries began to worry that Lee had opted for early retirement in his Wyoming paradise. They soon found that the several years of practice and study in platinum printing had made Lee more productive than ever.
Lee Teter builds art the way great buildings are made. His foundations are solid. Study and devotion are given even to the details most people will never see. His historical research will be valid for generations. Scholars and hobbyists are just now making historical and cultural discoveries about frontier history that Lee had painted and recorded years ago. His style is realistic and traditional, like the art that has been continuously appreciated for centuries. He is a craftsman holding the same values and concerns about archival stability as the masters of bygone eras. His art is dedicated to people who love art; success is measured by the pleasure it gives and the understanding it inspires. Lee Teter has been building for a long time with intentions of building for a long time to come. Each step in his life and art is a foundation stone. Each picture is a feature that is itself a work of art yet still a part of the whole. Lee Teter is building art that will stand soundly and be fitting and pleasing through all the changes the world has yet to make. Attention is given to all details but the most important element of Lee Teter art is heart. He paints the emotion he feels in himself and the emotion he feels in others. Art is Lee Teter's language.
Pamela Patrick White
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Pastel is a medium of pure color that reveals form and light in a unique way. Its properties offer endless variety which is why Pamela has been working with it for over fifteen years. People dominate most of her award winning illustrations which have been seen in CA, Print and the Society of Illustrators shows. These illustrations fall into the category of children's books and covers, corporate art and historic art.
Pamela's decision to establish herself as a prominent historic artist resulted from her love of American history. She has done years of research and collecting while working from her studio at the historic Oella Mill. An affiliation with re-enactment groups of the French and Indian war and the American Revolution provide her with the experience of eighteenth century battle and camp life and assist in her portrayal of eastern woodland and tidewater Indians. It is through her participation that Pamela can offer a unique and sensitive perspective of the past.
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An Artist's Artist. In style, subject matter, quality and inspiration. Keith Rocco's work evokes the masters of narrative, historical art; N.C. Wyeth, deNeuville and Pyle. An American painter and storyteller, Rocco has continued their legacy, creating visually stunning works which capture the drama of history, recording with care and nuance the details of his vision. It is a vision that has moved him through a lifetime to become one of the country's most sought after narrative painters today.
Rocco's passion for history and art began early. At the age of nine, for Christmas, he talked his parents into getting him The Golden Book of the Civil War he had spied in a local five & ten. The book, filled with photos and drawings, inspired the budding young artist to meticulously copy the pictures. At that time in his life, he knew little of the traditions of historical art; research, accuracy, emotion and artistic vision, yet instinctively as a child, he practiced the tenets of the craft as if he knew that someday it would be his future.
A love for history and passion for art saw Rocco through the usual turmoil of adolescence, when he sold his first works, copies of the masters, to his high school teacher. At age 14 he began what today has become a solid collection of Civil War and Napoleonic artifacts along with an eclectic mix of costuming from a variety of periods. To finance his collection through his teens, Rocco sold copies of his drawings through classified ads in historical publications. A cavalry sabre his first buy, still sits beside a cabinet crammed with the fruits of years of acquisitions.
It is these small and seemingly insignificant items that tell most heavily upon Rocco's imagination. They provide the textual substance that bonds his readings and research with life. "There is no better way to understand a period and it's people than by holding an artifact in your hands. After all, if you don't know the grade of cloth used on a garment you can't understand how it will hang or fold. In addition to the time of year and the geographic pecullarities it is these small and seemingly insignificant items that are most crucial to recreating the essence of a period," says Rocco.
The work that goes into one of Rocco's canvasses is prodigious. Because he never puts brush to canvas without exhaustive research, he finds he must begin his planning months and sometimes years before he may start a painting. This work often requires the help of professional historians and museum curators worldwide. Detectives for information thought to be lost to time, they often help in unusual ways. The small cup of earth on his studio shelf, for instance, was sent to confirm the color of the soil at Jamestown Colonial Site. Film footage of early jazz greates was found in the collection of an obscure video company.
The result of all this research and work has been gold for Rocco's art. In 1985 Rocco was proclaimed by the French magazine Uniformes, as an "artist in the tradition of Remington and Detaille." His works currently hang in every major collection of historical art in the country and several abroad. These include the Andrew Mellon Foundation, the Pentagon, the Atlanta Historical Society, the House of Representatives, Gettysburg National Park, the City of Fredericksburg, Virginia, the Natural Guard Heritage Collection, the U.S. Army War College and numerious private collections. In 1992, Rocco set about producing the largest paintings of his career with a commission to create 3 murals for the Wisconsin Veterans Museum in Madison which opened in June of 1993. Yet this project was most recently dwarfed in scale by the 1999 completion of Pamplin Historic Park for which he created over 4,000 square feet of murals divided among six individual paintings. Currently, a new commision has begun; a 100 foot panorama painting for the new Visitor's Center at Bentonville Battlefield park in North Carolina.
University of Illinois Press, University of Georgia Press, Chapel Hill, Military History, American History Illustrated and other publishing houses have all featured his work on their covers and dust jackets.
Rocco's paintings have been displayed in special exhibits across the country, including the 1992 Birth of a Nation exhibition in Washington D.C., and a one man show entitled On Campaign at the Cyclorama Building in Gettysburg National Park in 1994. His talents have not gone unnoticed by that most critical institution responsible for keeping this nation's history preserved, the National Park Service. Numerous contract have been awarded to Rocco by the Park's Design Center on the strength of his mastery of figure painting and understanding of historic subject.
His painterly and fluid style and exhaustive research of his subject has earned Rocco the acclaim as one of the country's most sought after narrative artists. His characters are a visual looking glass onto the endless variety of human nature; a nature which can be as noble as it can be brutal. It is this honest rendition of subject, along with a painting tradition reminiscent of the best that America has produced, that keeps Rocco in the forefront of his contemporaries. Today Keith Rocco lives and paints in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley.
Kent L. Gordon
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Kent L. Gordon was born and raised in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Growing up on a farm, he learned to hunt, fish, horseback ride, and love the outdoors. Following his father's footsteps, he bacame an avid sportsman and conservationist, and continues his involvement in wildlife and wildlife habitat conservation to this day.
After spending 35 years in the Appalachian and Allegheny Mountains of Virginia, Kent and his family moved to the small town of Pagosa Springs, Colorado. He started an outfitting business and shared his love of the majestic San Juan Mountains with innumerable individuals who came to hunt, fish, and ride the Rockies. Kent's enjoyment of the outdoors includes bowhunting, flyfishing, roping, polocrosse, team penning, and skiing. He also raises, trains, and sells registered Paint and Quarter Horses.
Kent's work in bronze reflects a combination of artistic talent, skill, and knowledge of his subjects. He began painting with oils at the age of six. During his school years he was very active with canvas - producing many works in oil, acrylic, and watercolor. he took up wood-carving in his early thirties and spent the next few years producing incredibly life-like carvings of fish, birds, and other wildlife. Two of these pieces were entered in the World Wildlife Sculpture Competition and won first and second places. Kent completed his first bronze during the summer of 1997. His desire to devote more time to his family, coupled with an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response to his work, has led him to a full-time professional career in sculpting.
As a bronze sculptor, Kent is self-taught and has developed his own unique style. His understanding of anatomy, attention to detail, and meticulous color application brings a striking realism to Kent's work. Furthermore, his commitment to detail and quality are evident throughout the entire casting process--he will not sacrifice detail for lower molding and casting costs. Kent naturally enjoys, and is exceptional at western, wildlife, and inspirational subjects; howver, he welcomes commission work in other areas.
Fast becoming a master at realism in the bronze world, and capable of capturing the moment with any subject, Kent can truly bring bronze to life with his enchanting and enduring detail.
Kent honors God for the talents given him and feels blessed in being able to share them with others.
Bradley J. Schmehl
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Brad attended York Academy of Arts and is a graduate of Pennsylvania School of Art & Design (1984)as well as a student founder. He taught illustration at PSA&D for five years while continuing his own illustration work. He continues to learn by studying favorite artists and experimenting on his own with color, composition, and technique.
Bradley J. Schmehl has manifested a God-given talent for creating pictures ever since a very tender age. Once, as a six year old, he drew a picture of construction workers who had been laboring in the street by his parent's house. His Mother, noticing some of the figures were much smaller than others, questioned her son about it. His response: "Those little men in my picture are farther away than the bigger ones". Thus, Brad demonstrated an intuitive grasp of the Law of Diminution in perspective, just one of the concepts that would be clarified and expanded in his subsequent artistic training.
Brad self-publishes selected prints, however, Somerset House publishes Brad's limited edition Civil War prints (except for the "Irish Brigade Series"). Green Flag Productions published the "Irish Brigade Series" limited prints. Brad's Civil War images are featured in the Greystone Communications video, "The Irish at Gettysburg" as well as numerous books. He actively supports battlefield preservation organizations and Civil War historical groups, donating prints for fundraising.
Brad was born on March 28, 1962 in Reading, PA. He married his wife, Rebecca, in September 1987. Family life plays an important role in Brad's life. His interests include playing the guitar & writing music (he is a member of his church's worship team). Reading is his pastime, especially historical and military subjects.
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Mark is a gifted storyteller; he stages his sculpture around the stories his characters portray. His style is highly detailed realism, his work has a strong physical presence, whether an aggresive athlete, or a pensive older person or shy child. The ability to capture a moment in time best describes his work as a sculpture.
A native of Holdrege, Nebraska, Mark graduated from the University of Nebraska in Kearney before traveling in Europe and the Mediterranean, where he decided to make sculpture his life's work. He moved to Loveland, Colorado in 1982, where he began his own highly successful career.Mark is a member of the National Sculpture Society and Allied Artists of America. He makes his home hear Loveland with his wife Elizabeth and their three children. His numerous accomplishments include placement of monumental and life-size sculptures in over 100 cities, including Statuary Hall in the Capital Building, Washington, DC, Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown, New York, Pro Player Stadium, Miami, Florida and several foreign countries.
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Growing up in rural Idaho gave Cammie Lundeen the opportunity to do what she loved: ride and care for horses. These experiences combined with artisitic training that focused upon equine bone structure and muscling make Lundeen's sculptures as anatomically accurate as possible.Before working in clay, Lundeen painted horses and other animals in oils and pastels. But thinking in three dimensions led her to pick up a piece of clay and she's never turned back. "I can sit down with a lump of clay and work something out as a model just about as fast as I can sketch it now", she is quoted in Equine Images. This art magazine credits Lundeen with "giving bronze the breath of life". "I try to make my sculpture as life-like as possible, I try to show expression. I think a lot of people can make a horse that has ears, eyes, and nose, but they miss out on other subtle things that make it more alive." Lundeen prefers to work from memories, special times that have captured her imagination. "We all know art is a form of expression. My goal is to touch someone's emotions, to have them feel what I might feel in a particular bronze," Lundeen states.So touching is Lundeen's equine sculpture that it has been the subject of feature aricles in such publications as the Appaloosa Journal, the Paint Horse Journal, Equine Images, Southwest art and Art of the West.Lundeen lives in Loveland, Colorado, where she has lots of camaraderie with other sculptors, including her husband, George Lundeen.
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