A traditional landscape painter of the Utah forests and rivers, Kent Wallis was born in Ogden, Utah. “I was raised in an economic environment where money was to be spent on bread and butter and the necessities of life,” he says. “Art was not considered a necessity, but a luxury only the wealthy could afford or appreciate. To expose the shallowness of that philosophy has been one of my major endeavors. Art, in its capacity to inspire, to communicate the highest of spiritual thought and emotion, must be considered a necessity in life, not a luxury.”
While watching Ralph Knaggy draw on Saturday morning television, Wallis decided on art as a career, but his confidence was shaken when a teacher told him he’d better stick to sports because he didn’t have the patience to make it in art. After graduating from Utah State University with a Master’s degree in business administration, Wallis worked for the B.F. Goodrich Company’s marketing division for six years.
However, while in Akron, Ohio, Wallis bought oil paints to use as a hobby and his desire to paint returned. He quit his job and returned to Utah to paint full time. Self taught, Wallis feels that his landscapes blend romantic realism with Impressionism. His influences ranged from Rembrandt to Monet.
Wallis believes that “real art lifts, enlightens. So much of today’s pseudo art degrades, darkens and debases human feelings. The world is beautiful, alive, growing, and endeavoring to improve. Art must communicate that. I try in my paintings to cause others to feel that uplifting side of life.”
Reference: Contemporary Western Artists – Peggy and Harold Samuels