Sunday, September 20, 2009
In some ways, I feel like I've lost a good friend...one 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 walk...an education...parts 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 died...it 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.