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Grand, Impressive, and Dramatic

7/7/16

Shea Stanfield
Arts Columnist

Thomas Cole, founder of the Hudson River School, observed, “The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.” Grand, expressive, and dramatic are all adjectives evoked by the exquisitely painted scenes natural scenes of mid-19th Century American artists. Today, we are fortunate to have local artist Ted Blaylock, inspired by the spirit of the American Southwest, as well as those who have come before: Remington, Russell, and Moran, to inspire us with his meticulously rendered works. Each image documents our history and culture through impeccably rendered paintings and sculptures.

Ted was born in the foothills of the Ozarks and grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. From the beginning, he had a keen eye for detail and a natural sense for composition and form. In high school, Ted readily admits art was his favorite subject and considers himself fortunate to have had teachers that recognized his talent and encouraged him to develop his craft to its fullest potential. Throughout his early life, Ted enjoyed getting out in the vast untouched landscapes of nature with his sketchpad and canvases close at hand. He describes himself as a self-taught artist, learning the techniques of drawing and painting through research, practice, visiting museums, and attending classes at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri and the Scottsdale Artist School. In 1968, Ted established himself in a full time career as an artist, and by 1969 he opened his first art studio and gallery in Collinsville, Illinois. The early 1970s found Ted and his young family heading west, to Arizona, where he exhibited and expanded his art career inspired by the great landscapes of the Southwest.

Today, Ted works from his home studios located in Mesa and Payson. His love for the great outdoors continues to provide endless inspiration and subject matter for his widely collected paintings. With almost fifty years as a working artist, and no signs of stopping, Ted enjoys worldwide recognition and respect as one of the premier talents of our time. He supports worthy conservation organizations as Ducks Unlimited, the National Wildlife Federation, Pheasants Forever, and many others. Ted’s work was selected for the 1990-91 Arizona Duck Stamp and Arizona Lifetime Trout Stamp in 1994. His print of a Southern Bald Eagle family in the Salt River Canyon has helped raise funds for the Arizona Nest Watch Program. In 2000, Ted was honored for his wildlife preservation work by being inducted into the Arizona Wildlife for Tomorrow Foundation Hall of Fame. His work was selected to show with the top one hundred American artists in the Arts for the National Parks program, and Ted had an award-winning painting in the 8th annual Coutts Museum Paint the Parks competition.

The Leanin’ Tree card company has published numerous greeting cards of Ted’s works and has one of his paintings on permanent display in their Leanin’ Tree Museum of Western Art, Boulder, Colorado.  “Blaylock Originals” licenses images to companies for puzzles, greeting cards, and other home and gift items. Ted also provides images to The Bradford Exchange. He was inducted into the Bradford Exchange Hall of Fame in 2015 with a painting now on permanent display. 

Every year between January and March, Ted exhibits and paints during the Arizona Fine Art Expo in Scottsdale. To contact Ted Blaylock, view a collection of Ted’s stunning, breathtaking, and nostalgic paintings, or to purchase a piece, visit his Web site at www.blaylockoriginals.com.       

Contact arts columnist Shea Stanfield at flowingquill@yahoo.com.