George Bowles

RESIDENCE: Arlington, Virginia

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN ART?: I fumbled around on my own in childhood, attempting portraits and even murals before graduating from high school. After 20 years in academic life, I got serious art training during four years at the Bougie Studio in Minneapolis, which was patterned after the French ateliers of the 19th century.

MENTORS AND ADMIRED ARTISTS: My mentors are Peter Bougie and Brian Lewis, with whom I studied at the Bougie Studio in Minneapolis. Artists I admire include Diego Velazquez, Jan Vermeer, John Constable, Frederic Edwin Church, William Bouguereau, Jean-Leon Gerome, John Singer Sargent, Claude Monet, Joaquin Bastida y Sorolla, Anders Zorn and others.

FAVORITE SUBJECTS: Still life, portrait, landscape and animal paintings.


Oblique Encounters (alkyd, 9×12) by George Bowles was a finalist in the 2004 Art Competition.

MY PROCESS: Except for landscape sketches, I begin with a full-scale preparatory drawing. I work from life, unless my subject is a child or animal. I use Winsor & Newton’s Griffin Alkyd paints. My inside palette is: flake white, cadmium yellow light, Naples yellow, yellow ochre, cadmium orange, cadmium red medium, alizarin crimson, Indian red, light red, ultramarine blue, veridian green, raw umber, ivory black and other colors as needed. My outside palette is: titanium white, Winsor lemon, yellow ochre, permanent rose, phthalo blue, cobalt blue, sap green, raw umber, ivory black.

DREAMS AND ASPIRATIONS: To do better work each year than I did the year before.

Kate Mesch is an assistant editor for The Artist’s Magazine.

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