Arthur Blanchard’s Life in Art
I cannot remember when I was not drawing people.
I was born in l926 in Haskell, Oklahoma, a town then and now with about 1200 inhabitants near the Arkansas River in Muskogee County. I was perforce a child of the great depression in a place come to be symbolic of that jolly, dismal time.
My mother, who had a real but seldom realized talent for drawing, was able to get a few lessons for me when I was 8 or 9 and again when I was about 12, but teachers cost money, and money was in short supply, and I was not primed to take anything seriously that was not fun or did not pay a few cents for a Saturday cowboy flick.
I did learn fairly quickly that drawing is often not fun for the drawee, especially if the drawer (I lapse into terms from Chapter 3 of the Uniform Commercial Code) is slightly malicious and the drawee is female. Grade school teachers were all women, in those days, and I alienated more than one to my sorrow (to this day) with my saucy pencil.
I drew for school publications in high school and college and thereafter compulsively through law school, in law practice, in church, at meetings, on buses (I always rode the bus to work if I could), with my family, and after 1984 in classes at El Centro and SMU. I began painting in the l970’s and have kept it up.
In the early l980’s, Tallie Moore Bush, one of Texas outstanding artists, saw my drawings during a visit to my office, and told me that I ought to “get serious” about my work. She even gave me a beautiful sketchbook in which I drew and painted during a trip to France in l986 until I left it in a phone booth in Dijon. Tallie has shown my paintings twice in her native Paris, Texas.
Mary Nye, who is now deceased, represented some of Texas’ best known painters a generation ago. A lovely lady and friend, Mary mounted a show of my paintings about 25 years ago.
I have sold paintings occasionally at private sale since l988. Viewers of my work at shows have drunk the wine and eaten the cheese and bought nothing.
Recently I met Bob Schutze of Beaux Arts Fine Art and he has offered to show my work. I am most grateful to him for his encouragement and hard work.
I am still doing people, some of whom know they are subjects and many who don’t. I never tire of studying them for all that their appearance tells me of them and their lives.