After graduating from the University of Colorado with a B.A. Degree in 1983, Unbeknownst to him, an unplanned stop to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia in the late 1980’s became the momentum that drew him to Trompe l’Oeil and Classical Realism after he saw an original William Harnett painting. He marveled at Harnett’s ability to create both unbelievable detail and illusionary dimension and began a personal study on the Old Masters Dutch still life painters and on the American Trompe l’Oeil School of painters of the late 1800’s, specifically, William M. Harnett, John Haberle and John Peto.
Clapper’s painting developed during the 1980-90’s while he lived and worked in Gainesville, Florida. It was during this season, he developed his own techniques and proficiency as he applied the Old Masters’ methods of indirect lighting, shadowing, glazing and multi-dimensional affects to the canvas.
After a period of painting still life’s, Clapper completed series of trompe l’oeil paintings that pays homage to the pioneers of American trompe l’oeil such as Harnett and Peto. In 1994, he relocated to Arizona where he still abides and works in his Scottsdale studio. Clapper’s study focused once again to the genre of trompe l’oeil including this time some modern day masters, namely Ken Davies, Gary Erbe and David Brega.
In April of 2002, Clapper launched the International Guild of Realism, an exclusive group of today’s finest realist painters dedicated to the genre of classical and contemporary realism. Clapper is also the president of the Trompe l’Oeil Society of Artists, an exclusive group of today’s finest trompe l’oeil artists.
In 2009, Clapper created a new figurative style called “Dramatic Realism”. These new figure paintings represent a new style that illuminates the figure in a different and exciting way with multiple light sources and color splashes penetrating the composition. This dramatic colorful lighting creates drama and mystery to the figure. This new style combines everything that the artist enjoys in quality painting such as dramatic lighting, interesting composition, skillful technique and a unique blend of exciting color. These figure paintings by Clapper are still executed in the same skillful and academic manner that Clapper has been recognized throughout the country for his award winning and museum quality still life and trompe l'oeil paintings.
Clapper’s work has received national as well as international recognition. He has received numerous articles in such publications as International Artist Magazine, American Art Review, American Art Collector Magazine and Art News. His work has been featured in many museums across the nation including The Phoenix Art Museum, The Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin and The Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He has exhibited in top level galleries across the country in New York City, Dallas, Santa Fe, LA and Naples, FL.
(Featured painting: “MODERN X”, by Donald Clapper (b. 1959)
Ed's education in art is extensive. He attended the Columbus College of Art & Design in Columbus, Ohio, and the Famous Artist School in Westport, Connecticut where he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. Following these studies, he worked as a commercial illustrator for various advertising agencies and continued his career by becoming a highly–skilled restoration artist, meticulously restoring paintings on canvas, wood panels and oils on copper plates.
It was through restoring old master paintings that truly developed his depth of understanding the techniques used by the great artists of the past. The knowledge that he gained over the past 50 years, has helped him to understand their methods which he now incorporates with his own creative ability.
With many years of expert care and craftsmanship, Ed is a trusted Master Restoration Artist who will guarantee satisfaction as he conserves the beauty of your old master painting. Whatever the artwork's value, Ed treats each piece as if it were his own.
When Ed's not working in his studio, he devotes a portion of his time researching sites and events in order to create a scene. A significant amount of time is devoted to finding the right models and clothing for the painting.
Being a master artist in realism art, and having his paintings hanging in permanent Museum collections, Ed has the knowledge and skills to copy and match any technique or period of time in order to duplicate the missing areas of a painting. He has given numerous lectures on restoration and old master techniques.
(Featured painting: “SNAKE OIL”, by Ed Copley (b. 1944)
Joe Frank Howard
Joe F. Howard was born in a small town in Tennessee and reared in Columbus, OH. He has an innate artistic ability that was discovered early in life. Throughout his childhood, his hands were always working on some creative art form. An accomplished painter, today his tremendous visions and abilities speak to all through the mellifluous movement of his paintings and visceral texture of his beautifully crafted bronze sculptures. Because of Howard's breathtaking paintings and sculptures, this master of multiple media has been referred to as a modern day Michelangelo.
Joe Howard became an artist over his father's staunch objections. He wanted his four sons to be successful. The prosperous blacks he knew were doctors and lawyers and he wanted his sons to become one or the other. He was so adamant that when Joe, his first born, chose art school, he refused to support his education. But Howard won a four-year scholarship to Columbus College of Art & Design*
Since graduating from Columbus College of Art & Design Joe's works have been exhibited throughout the United States and Europe. He has been creating art for numerous private and commercial clients such as Ronald McDonald House, the State of Ohio, Mount Carmel, the late author Alex Haley, Xerox, Ohio State University Cultural Center, Liebert Corporation, Hydroplane Inc. Dave Thomas (Wendy's) and country music legend, Conway Twitty to name a few.
(Featured painting: “WAITING FOR MORNING SUN”, by Joe Frank Howard (b. 1948)
This painting won the “Best Wildlife Award” at the 2017 (IGOR) International Guild of Realism show in Carmel, California. This piece features aquatic turtles waiting to bask in the morning sun.
The intricate and precise figurative paintings of Mikele Arapi put a modern and contemporary twist on classical and late 19th-century art movements. Combining a naturalistic painting style with elements of fantasy and allegory, Arapi’s goal is to depict human emotion and our connection with nature, but his strategy is unusual.
Instead of adhering to realism, Arapi's paintings are passionate, surreal, sensual, and richly colored with deep, saturated hues. The focus of Arapi's compositions is always lighting and contrast, and he creates a masterful balance between bright and dark tonalities across a wide range of colors, whether he's working in acrylic, oil, or graphite.
Arapi's pieces are full of not only symbolism and emotion, but visual detail, from the muscles on a subject's leg to flowers and leaves adorning a tree. Arapi believes "details make the difference," turning what might seem like extraordinary scenes into something his viewers can enter into and connect with.
Born in Albania, Arapi studied art in both high school and college and has traveled the world perfecting his craft. He is a full-time artist.
Sherry Blanchard Stuart
Sherry Blanchard Stuart is an established professional artist that loves the American West; its history and tradition inspires and informs much of her work.
Born in Newport Arkansas, raised in Wichita, Kansas and currently living in the Sonoran Desert of North Scottsdale, Arizona, Stuart has been painting most of her life. She attended the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in Michigan where she earned a BFA degree in painting and graphic arts.
Working in traditional style, Stuart paints with a richness of color that illuminates the intensity of sunlight upon her varied subject matter. Her work is both traditional and representational in style and she paints figurative as well as landscape and still life; but the majority of her work is western and equine subjects.
Continually refining and developing her unique style, she seeks to broaden her use of light, values, and color – pushing her work to the next level.
Sherry Blanchard Stuart is listed in Who’s Who in American Art, and has been featured in a wide range of publications: The American Artist, The illustrator, Cowboys and Indians, Southwest Art, Midwest Art, Appaloosa Journal and Wildlife Art. Books include Art of the American West and A Century of Sanctuary: The Art of Zion National Park.
Nationally, Stuart is a Master Signature Member of American Women Artists, a Signature Member of Oil Painters of America and holds membership in American Plains Artists and Knickerbocker Artists of America.
Locally in Arizona, she is a founding member of the Creative Women of Pinnacle Peak and is a member in good standing in Arizona Artists Guild, Phoenix Oil Painters of Arizona and the Sonoran Arts League.