August 2016 Artist of the Month | Cap Pannell

Congratulations to our August 2016 Artist of the Month, Cap Pannell! Pannell was a finalist in The Artist’s Magazine‘s Annual Art Competition! His piece Winter Afternoon at White Rock Lake can be seen below. Read more about Pannell and why he would rather be called a painter than an artist.

august 2016 artist of the month cap pannell

Winter Afternoon at White Rock Lake (oil on canvas, 24×12) by Cap Pannell

Dallas, Texas ~ cappannell.com

I started drawing when I was about four years old. In grade school the girls would ask me to draw horses for them. Early on I learned that doing art has definite benefits. For the guys I drew tattoos on their arms until the principal put a stop to it. Hence, my first lesson in art criticism.

I received a degree in graphic design in 1971 from North Texas State University, now the University of North Texas. I had never painted before when friend and fellow painter Dave Kramer taught me the basics of figurative painting in 2001. I began painting landscapes in 2011. In addition to painting in oil, I also work as an illustrator and graphic designer.

I usually work from photographs and drawings, and transfer the drawing onto canvas using the grid method. That way the painting is not an exact duplicate of the photo, but is open to interpretation and detours. I use cadmium red and yellow, ultramarine blue, raw umber, burnt sienna, ivory black and titanium white.

Most paintings take about a month to finish, off and on. I need the painting to dry for a few days so I can glaze. I usually work on three or four canvases, so I’m not sitting around waiting for a single painting to dry.

This painting was really pretty easy. I’m always pleased when soft color gradations, such as the sky in this painting, blend together nicely.

Even though painting is a love, it’s also a job. But it’s a great job. I want to paint until I drop. I want to see how good I can get. And I want to provide for my family.

I was painting en plein air (that’s French for “hot and dusty”) in the New Mexico desert one day when one of my fellow painters shouted, “Watch out for rattlesnakes!” I thought “To hell with this. I think I’ll be a studio painter.” But my hat is off to en plein air painters. To be successful, they have to be fast as well as decisive. I tend to mull over paintings.

I want to thank my dear wife Carol, who has always been incredibly patient and supportive beyond belief. Even when my endeavor looked the darkest, she has never lost faith in me.

The man I consider to be my mentor, illustrator Jack Unruh, recently died. Jack was world famous for his talent. He was so encouraging to me in both painting and illustration. The counsel of equally famous and talented illustrator/painter Bart Forbes has also proven invaluable.

I find being called an artist cringe-worthy. I prefer “painter.” “Painter” confers work. Hard, honest work. Labor that requires talent and perseverance. “Artist” sounds elitist to me. “Artist” is the appellation bestowed upon people who do questionable work that many consider brilliant and spend sinful sums of money to acquire in the hopes it will be a great investment.

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