M. Stephen Doherty

M. Stephen Doherty
The editor of Plein Air magazine at work

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Curt Walters and the Road to Success

Curt Walters painting during the Grand Canyon Celebration of the Arts 2009 (www.grandcanyon.org). An article on his recent wokshop and the Grand Cayon event are included in the winter 2009 issue of Workshop magazine (www.artistdaily.com).

By all measures, my friend Curt Walters (www.curtwalters.com) is one of the most successful artists in the country, certainly among artists in the Western United States. He has won almost every major award given in juried competitions, including the Prix de West (organized by the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City), and he was recently the subject of a major retrospective exhibition at the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis. But none of this happened overnight, and in fact Curt was rejected for 20 years in a row when he was first considered for the Prix de West exhibition.

I mentioned this because all of us can learn something from Curt's hard work, determination, and resilience. He could have given up on his dreams years ago, and no one would have blammed him considering his success was being thwarted by some very influential artists. But Curt believed in himself, trusted the opinions of people who recognized his talents, and continued to improve his paintings until he was finally called the "greatest living Grand Canyon artist" by Art of the West magazine. He works just as hard today as he did when I first met him 30 years ago and featured his paintings in the June, 1980 issue of American Artist; and he continues to share his knowledge and enthusiasm as he did in the cover story of the April, 1998 issue of the magazine.

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