Morgan Weistling’s earliest influence on his art was his artist father, on whose lap he sat and sketched at just nineteen months of age. He later studied at a small art school run by Fred Fixler in the Los Angeles, California, area. Under his tutelage, Weistling learned to paint by studying how light falls on a subject. Fixler, who was widely noted for his drawing skills, “used classical methods and still taught the rigorous approach. I drew every day. That’s how he trained me.” Other major influences include John Singer Sargent, Anders Zorn, Nicolai Fechin and modern day master Richard Schmid.
Weistling later became a successful illustrator in the Hollywood movie industry for fourteen years before making the transition to fine art in 1998. Focusing mostly on period pieces that invoke a gentler, more gracious time, Weistling is nationally known for his exquisite oil paintings that showcase his well honed drawing ability and his skilled control over values, edges and light.
Wiestling notes, “In my paintings, I hope to communicate with the viewer the same emotional response that I felt and was inspired by. There has to be something visually stunning in the scene that causes me to want to capture that…Whatever it is, I know it must come from my heart or I won’t stay interested nor will the viewer.” Working out of his home studio in a Los Angeles suburb, Weistling arranges his props and models as necessary. Painting completely free hand, with no preliminary drawing to guide him, he judges distances and places correct shapes and patterns, breathing life onto a blank canvas.
Although collector demand for his original paintings has soared, Weistling maintains, “I decided early on that I would not let a painting out of the studio unless I feel really good about it. Sometimes that means living with a painting for a few months to get a good sense of what is working or not working. I think we as artists can become blind to our errors, which is why I rely on my wife JoAnn to critique each piece before I send it out. I think it is a valuable asset for an artist to surround himself with people willing to give an honest opinion.”
Weistling participates in exhibitions across the country, including the Masters of the American West at the Autry National Center in Los Angeles, California and the Prix de West Exhibition held at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He has also won numerous awards, including the Patron’s Choice Award at the 2000 Masters of the American West exhibition, the coveted Prix De West Award and the Nona Jean Hulsey Buyer’s Choice Award at the 2001 Prix De West Exhibition.
Reference: Southwest Art June 2002, AskArt.com