Mel Stark, born in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, in 1903, was a student of the impressionist style of the New Hope School (Allentown, Pennsylvania), finding a mentor and lifelong friend in his teacher Walter E. Baum. Baum’s bold and painterly plein-air style had enormous impact and influence on the painting style of Stark, who carried on the New Hope tradition throughout his life. Stark received his first training in painting at the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia), Syracuse University (New York), and the Philadelphia Museum School (Pennsylvania) before he became Baum’s lead disciple in Allentown. In the 1930s Stark became a teacher at the Kline-Baum School as he also began to travel to the coastal town of Rockport, Massachusetts, where he rented a home every summer until his death. In Rockport, Stark studied with Anthony Theime, one of the leading painters of the Rockport School, and today Stark is most famous for his harbor boat paintings.
In 1945 Stark joined the staff at Cedar Crest College, and by the 1950s he became the director of art at Muhlenberg College, both in the Allentown area. He was a founder of the Lehigh Art Alliance, and in 1956, the year of Walter Baum’s death, Stark was elected as the director of the Allentown Art Museum. In 1962 he was given the first award for best landscape by the National Society of Painters in Casein at the National Arts Club in New York City. Stark began to winter in Florida in 1969, still maintaining his home in Pennsylvania, even after accepting a job at the Longboat Key Art Center where he continued to paint marine scenes en plein-air. Stark died in Allentown on October 28, 1987.
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Of my three current series, Ether is the more interior, emerging directly from what is in my head, while Landscapes arises from direct experience—what I see in nature, captured by my internal camera and explosively transformed. Out of My Mind also focuses on direct experience; however, the experience is of human nature—traumatic and mysterious events, family gatherings and childhood memories. Together, these series forms a body of work that transcends topicality and embraces an ever-expanding category-defying approach to art that reflects my desire to spread beauty and joy through the transformative power of the creative process.”
– Maureen Chatfield
Malcolm Bray was born 1958, Hull England. He immigrated to the United States in 1984 and became a citizen in June of 2005.
Bray has been a resident of New Jersey for over 20 years where he keeps an expansive studio in a restored 19th century spoke factory. Often painting on a larger scale, Bray has evolved as an energetic proponent in the field of abstraction.
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Wildlife art today seems to be captured in the lenses of cameras rather than on the canvases of an artist masterpiece. An artist that has kept this once affluent depiction of wildlife alive is Douglas Allen. With his love for wildlife, his technical excellence and his ability to bring the animal or landscape to life on the canvas has helped to put him at the forefront of wildlife art.
Douglas Allen was born on March 18, 1935 in Jersey City, New Jersey. This is where his career as an artist began at the age of six. He began by copying the works of the artist that he enjoyed at that moment. This interest in fine art came from his father, Douglas Allen, Sr., who was a collector and writer of the works of Frederic Remington. One of the books that sparked the interest in the artist that he now collects, and has even written a book with his father, was The Boy’s King Arthur, which was illustrated by N. C. Wyeth. This led to his love for fine art and illustration as well as his appreciation for the great works of those who came before him.
After exploring art and doing work himself as a young child, he began going to the Ford School of Art in Jersey City in 1945. He kept taking classes there until 1950. Three years later he began his further exploration of art as well as honing his skills at the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts from 1953 until 1956. He studied under
W.J. Aylward, a pupil of Howard Pyle, as well as John Grabach and Charles Waterhouse. Douglas Allen later studied privately with Paul Bransom (Dean of American Wildlife Artists) at his summer school in Jackson Hole, Wyoming
At the beginning of his wildlife career many of his illustrations were reproduced in a series of sporting and adventure magazines published by Weider Publishing Company. Later,Allen’s work was featured in Outdoor Life, Sports Afield
and in the Reader’s Digest. Then in 1961 he illustrated two books on big game animals as well as hunting. He illustrated Jack O’Connor’s The Big Game Animals of North America, which originally began as a series in a magazine but due to its great popularity was later published as a book. He also illustrated Clyde Ormond’s The Complete Book of Hunting. These are the two most popular books that Douglas Allen illustrated but he has illustrations in over thirty-five books and many magazines.
Douglas Allen took part in twelve one man exhibitions from the years of 1961 to 1990 stretching from coast to coast in cities such as New York City to San Francisco. This does not include his numerous group exhibitions that he took part in throughout the years.
One of the great honors that Douglas Allen has received was to have his stamp design issued in 1964 by the United States Post Office Department. The design was to commemorate the Tercentenary Founding of the State of New Jersey.
Not only is Douglas Allen an artist but he has also written a book with his father about his favorite artist, N.C. Wyeth. The book is titled N.C. Wyeth – The Collected Illustrations, Paintings and Murals. There have been over 100,000 copies sold to date. Included in the book is also a bibliography containing all of the books, magazines, posters and calendars that N.C. Wyeth illustrated. Since writing this book Douglas Allen has written behind the scenes for the magazine Sports Afield after being appointed as an art consultant.
What separates Douglas Allen from other wildlife artists is not only his incredible ability to bring a canvas to life or his technical excellence, it is his love and knowledge for wildlife that makes him so successful. Just stepping into his studio one can tell how much he loves and studies all the animals that he puts on canvas. Magazines, books, paintings, sketches, photographs and big game heads fill the studio with an abundance of resources that help to make the paintings what they are, spectacular. Not only does Douglas Allen study these animals from the countless pages that fill his studio, he goes and sees these animals in their natural habitat. Every year he goes out to Wyoming or the
Canadian Rockies to paint and photograph the scenery, the animals and just the natural beauty of the West. This love for what he does comes out in every single painting from the black and white pen and ink drawings he has given his grandchildren over the years to the magnificent paintings that have rested in exhibitions all over the United States.