Gallery Artists > Chuck Ren Biography :

Chuck Ren (1941 - 1995)  Artworks >>

Realist painter of sporting and Western figures in acrylic, born in Ajo, Arizona in 1941 and living in Vista, California since 1978. “I grew up in a small copper mining town,” he explains, “and there wasn’t all that much to do. It was always so hot that I’d spend most of my time indoors, drawing. What I was twelve, I sent in for the Famous Artist School test that you’d always see offered in ads. They sent back my work with a grade of B plus, but told me I was too young to enroll. I was really crushed.

After taking his freshman year at Northern Arizona University, he earned a BFA from the University of Arizona, in 1964, but he “almost dropped out of college. They put you through elementary design and some other basic courses before you get to anything like figure drawing. It was pretty boring.” He then became a technical illustrator. “Whenever I had the chance,” he says, “I’d also do free-lance work for whatever it would pay. I started making a lot of contacts. The free-lance work increased to the point where I couldn’t do both, so I quit my full time job in 1976 and went totally free lance.”

A $75 ad in the Los Angeles Illustrator’s Catalog produced calls from movie studios, record companies, and the National Football League. Compared to employment as an illustrator where he was “tired of the lifestyle that had company heads telling designers what to design,” the NFL called him “perfect.” By 1980, he had done over 200 illustrations for the NFL and a dozen covers for Pro! Magazine. Sixty percent of his work was football oriented. By 1982, however, the bulk of his output was fine art related to the American West.

Resource: Contemporary Western Artists, by Peggy and Harold Samuels 1982, Judd’s Inc., Washington, D.C

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