Getting to Know Walt Curlee

Walt Curlee

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Music chosen by Walt

What’s your background?

Born into a military family, I am the oldest of five boys. I started drawing at an early age. Due to my obsession with doodling, I had a tendency to neglect my school work. After 4 years in the Marine Corps, I acquired my art education at the Art Institute’s of Fort Lauderdale and Atlanta. I was offered a job before graduating by W.C. Bradley Co. as a commercial artist drawing assembly instructions, then to art director. After 3 enjoyable years I decided I wanted to illustrate instead of be an art director. I work from my home studio and enjoy living the country life in rural Alabama, with my wife Vicki.

I have been a freelance illustrator for 25 years and have worked for a who’s who of corporate America including Berol Pencils, Blockbuster Videos, Cirrus Logic, Clark American, Coors, Diamond Shamrock, Duracell, Frito-Lay, GameTek, H. E. B. Brand Grocery Co., Kelloggs, Lucas Arts, Mattel, MCI, Procter & Gamble, Orkin, Sega Genesis, and Thermos/Warner Brothers.

Autumn Wheat Harvest

I was an airbrush illustrator for 15 years (advertising and editorial) and was actually getting really good, but the market was fast drying up for me. I then turned to digital illustration for about 10 years until the market pretty much dried up for me and my agents no longer brought in any assignments. I started oil painting about 12 years as I saw my illustration days were numbered.

I absolutely enjoy life with my wife Vicki, my brothers and their families on fifty acres of God’s country and can’t imagine having to live in the city.

Does your artwork come from that background?

My training, work ethic and attention to detail does, and overall skill level.

What are you trying to say with your work?

I just try to create works that draw you into them. Many people say they wished they could walk into and live in my paintings. A very nice compliment indeed!

What made you choose the medium you work with?

I am the master of it and can totally create my vision using it.

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Blackberries Rural Farm Landscape

Do you work in a studio?

The first 15 years I worked in a studio built beside my house. It’s now a storage shed. The last 12 years my studio is a room in my house. I’d rather not show my cluttered studio, lol.

What is the one thing in your studio you just could not be without?

My computer!

I have been to a doctor but 1 time in 25 years and feel fortunate to have good health and take no prescribed meds (see beer hobby).

Who are your biggest influences?

Norman Rockwell, Grant Wood and Thomas Hart Benton.

Appalachian Pumpkin Patch

What is your favourite piece of work by yourself?

Appalachian Pumpkin Patch

How much time (on average) does it take to complete a work?

About three months.

Music chosen by Walt

How do you know something is ‘finished’? Is it easy to walk away?

It’s finished when I just can’t stand to work on it anymore! I am a perfectionist!

Deer In The High Meadow

What project are you working on now?

I’m working on a chuckwagon sunset with cowboys around the camp fire.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?

Nothing really earth shattering, that I can remember that has helped me.

I do follow my own advice to myself. “never give up and never ever stop stepping over the bodies on the way to the top!”

I mean that in a humorous way. I used to say this to all my agents

What was the first piece of art you sold?

A watercolor that I did in art school.

Old Grist Mill

Do you find it hard to navigate the artworld?

I don’t worry about it a lot. I’m like the turtle in the “Turtle and the Hare”, I keep plodding along and I never stop!

What are you personally doing to advance your work career?

I ‘ve won many national art competitions and have made money at it. I have galleries that want to consign my paintings and publishers that want to publish my images, mostly from them seeing my work at shows. As yet I have not committed to any, as I would like to sell my own painting and publish my own prints. I sell some of both only online. but not a lot, but I’m working on it. I don’t use social media much or a mailing list. I do license my images and have an agent that also licenses my images. I’m usually up at 4:00-5:00 a.m. and stop about 5:00 p.m.

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I don’t follow trends.

Small Town Winter Landscape

How do you price your work and why do you price it that way?

Since my paintings take about 3 months give or take. I figure my time is worth $4000 a month for the 3 months it takes me to complete an oil painting.

Do you use social networking in your day to day life?

I just post on Facebook a little.

I wish I were more articulate and didn’t ramble.

Is there anything that really annoys you about the artworld?

Only that they don’t purchase more of my work.

Music chosen by Walt

What advice would you give new artists?
Only take advice from rich artists! I unfortunately don’t know any.

Quail Strolling Along The Vineyard

Have you got hobbies?

Horseshoes, fishing, bonfires and beer.

Where are you based?

Phenix City, Alabama.

Walt Curlee

Taking Pumpkins To Market

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Isabella F A Shores

Founder / Artist at YoursByShores
Hello, my name is Isabella Shores.I'm a dog lover with two Alsatians.A bird lover...2 budgies, and an avid writer.

I live in Manchester, UK and try to promote other artists and writers when I can.I'm so pleased you found our community and I hope to chat to you soon!!Please comment on my posts if you like them 🙂
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