Sunday, September 20, 2009

Thanks Bernie

In some ways, I feel like I've lost a good that I never really knew on a personal basis. I met Bernie Fuchs when he came to speak at Ringling in 1978 or 79 but I never really knew him and he certainly never knew who I was. Despite that, I paint pictures because of him. Along with my brother Charlie, it was Fuch's paintings that most influenced my decision to become an illustrator. Through all the ups and downs, the good years and bad ones, I've never regretted the path I chose.
For years, I tried my best to paint like Bernie but in time realized I would never out "Bernie" Bernie. Still though, it was a step in my of which remain in my work. I've included a couple of my very early illustrations to show his influence. The Hank Aaron piece was the first commercial illustration I did after graduation. The Atlanta Golf Classic brochure was another early work...approximately a year after graduation. It was sometime in those early years that the rep for Brown Dog(illustration studio I worked for) told me that I was bidding on a job against Fuchs..among others. Wow...that was heady stuff. I don't remember the job...I got it though...under bidding the master I'm sure. I was in art school when Norman Rockwell was a similar feeling to that when I read someone's Facebook post about Fuchs.
So, what does this have to do with "What's on the Board"? Bernie Fuchs is on my board...he's on there every time I sit down to paint.


Steve McAfee said...

Nicely written Mr. Pate.

greg blair said...

martin, thanks for sharing that. often, people will ask me " what inspired the artist? " sometimes the answer is simply other artist.

Hamlin Design said...

Martin, I was at Ringling also when Bernie visited. It was in 1978. I believe we had a lot of visitors to Ringling that year. He gave a slide show of his work and talked about his processes. He discussed just how long it took for him to develop his loose style. I do remember a number of slides being of bull fighting.

Your brother Charlie had a cross between Fuchs and Walt Spitzmiller. I think Spitzmiller was also copying Bernie. We all did! :-)

I have a number of old illustrations I collected from Bernie during and after those years at Ringling if you want me to email them to you sometime. I collected everybody, but especially Bernie and Robert Heindel.

I do remember when Rockwell died when we were in school. American Artist magazine had an issue on him shortly before he died so I bought that one. I still have it in mint condition! Which I think is somewhat collectable now.

Also, I really like your conte drawings a lot!!! How much for one??? :-)


David Boyd, Jr said...

great stuff, he is the master... they just had an article on him in American Artist or was it Artists Magazine... crap, i don;t remember. one of those magazines that has techniques and whatnot in it. i found it online.

i can certainly see his influence in the golf image...

Dana Johnson Plein air Artist said...

awesome! thanks for the story....yes, other artist do influence us more than we know