Brenda Howell

Brenda Howel's Biography

Brenda’s education in art started with the inspiration and guidance of her mother, who was a painter and art teacher. “She taught privately and I was always welcome and excited to be in the environment of her studio or outdoor classes. I received instruction in drawing and painting and made my first oil painting at five years old. She encouraged me to look at the world with the eyes of an artist, noticing colors and shapes. We took many painting trips together throughout the years.” Howell went on to receive a B.A. from California State University, Fullerton and later studied art at various institutions including Fullerton College, Tulsa Community College, Philbrook Museum School and workshops with Scottsdale Artists School. Representative landscapes that reveal something about the story that the earth tells has been the main focus of her work. Her love affair with the Grand Canyon began in 1970 when she and her sister first hiked five miles down the Bright Angel Trail to Indian Garden. After that experience she was always planning yearly visits back to the Canyon. The artist relates, “I am fascinated by landscapes that reveal the earth’s rock layers. When I first saw the Grand Canyon and Painted Desert I was awestruck. I wanted to understand how the various rock layers came to be and why all the variety in color and structure. This interest led to my taking college classes in earth science and geology. At about this time Mount St. Helens blew its top and that event was such an emotion-laden and powerful statement of the earth’s processes I would never look at volcanic rock and ash layers the same way again.” The artist worked more than twenty years as a technical/geological illustrator and graphic designer, and later developed a successful freelance business. She continued her study and practice of fine art on a part-time basis. In 1999, with a desire to immerse herself in her favorite painting subject, she decided to take a job at the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park and stayed for four years. In the tradition of Gunnar Widforss and other artists that made Grand Canyon home, this experience certainly enriched her knowledge of and intimacy with her subject, the wild landscape. Howell was honored to be given a solo show at Pearce Western Art Museum in Texas in 2010. She was also chosen by the National Park Service as Artist-in-Residence at Badlands National Park in the Fall of 2010. Her work resides in the permanent collections of both institutions and is in private collections throughout the U.S. and abroad. Her work has won many awards in such shows as Oil Painters of America Annual National Exhibition, American Women Artists Annual Exhibition, Salon International, and Art Renewal Center. Painting full time since 2003, Brenda paints primarily in oil, both in the studio.”

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