Ross B. Young (1955-) Biography
Personal, Career, Member, Writings, Sidelights
Born 1955, in East Orange, NJ; Education: University of Tulsa, B.F.A., 1978, M.A., 1980. Hobbies and other interests: Hunting, fishing, training bird dogs, skeet shooting, hiking, travel, and camping.
Artist and illustrator, 1980—. Exhibitions: Pittsfield Art Museum, Pittsfield, MA, 1983; Southeast Arkansas Arts and Science Museum, Pine Bluff, AR, 1985; Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, WI, 1990; Artist Registry Show, The Dog Museum, St. Louis, MO, 1992 and 1995; One Man Show, "The Sporting Tradition: Celebrating 20 Years of Sporting Art by Ross Young," The National Bird Dog Museum and the Field Trial Hall of Fame, Grand Junction, TN, 1997—.
National Bird Dog Foundation, Camp Fire Boys and Girls Ozark Council (president, 1996), Missouri Wildlife Artist Society (president, 1993-95), Springfield Area Arts Council (board member, 1996-2000), Springfield Rod and Gun Club (president, 2000-01).
Oscar Cronk, They Called Him Wildcat (nonfiction) Pendleton Press, 2000.
David Webb, A Feisty Little Pointing Dog (fiction), Silver Quill Press (Camden, ME), 2000.
Joe Arnette, Gun Dog Chronicles (fiction), Silver Quill Press (Camden, ME), 2001.
Judy Young, S Is for Show Me: A Missouri Alphabet, Sleeping Bear Press (Chelsea, MI), 2001.
Judy Young, Poetry & Paint: Selected Works, Xlibris (Philadelphia, PA), 2003.
Devin Scillian, P Is for Passport: A World Alphabet, Sleeping Bear Press (Chelsea, MI), 2003.
Contributor of illustrations (including cover illustrations) to periodicals, including Gun Dog Magazine, The Covey Rise, The Ozarks Mountaineer Magazine, Shotgun Sports Magazine, Sporting Tales, Quail Unlimited, Grouse Point Almanac, and Pointing Dog Journal.
Ross B. Young told SATA: "I came to illustration through the backdoor. At the University of Tulsa I was trained as a studio artist, the bulk of my work since 1980 has been private and corporate commission works and paintings for sale through galleries. I also have my own line of limited edition prints (over fifty images have been published to date) which my business retails to collectors and wholesales to dealers internationally. Since 1980, I have created illustrations for various publications and products but the lion share of my work has always been studio painting. It wasn't until Sleeping Bear Press approached me in 2000 about illustrating what ended up to be the book S Is for Show Me: A Missouri Alphabet (written by my wife Judy) that I truly had what I considered a real, sink your teeth into, illustrating project. Up until then my illustration jobs were not much different from doing a commissioned painting. S Is for Show Me gave me the opportunity to work from a manuscript and to bring the words to life visually. Illustration work is a very different approach to art than is studio painting. In illustration the technical aspects of materials, prescribed subject, deadlines, format, printing specifications and story line are dictated to me. With studio work I usually have the liberty to control these components. However, I have found it a refreshing challenge to deal with someone else's subject matter and ideas and then apply them to my own vision and style of painting or drawing. Whether the painting is going to hang on the walls of a private collection or grace the pages of a book, it is the telling of the story, the conveyance of an emotion or an idea that I am after in my art. It is the ability to choose those components (composition, color, values, etc.) that will best help tell the story that counts. These properties are not unique to either illustration nor easel painting and it is the job of the artist to put these components together to portray his own voice or another's.
"While I specialize in sporting dogs, hunting and fishing scenes, the body of my work is much broader than the genre of sporting art. Landscape, still life and wildlife paintings are no strangers to my easel. I've even been known to paint flying turtles and death owls. What is consistent through my work is a painterly approach to the subject matter, concentrating on the way light effects a scene and my emotional reaction to it. I prefer to paint intuitively rather than methodologically, allowing each subject to dictate how I should go about the painting. This, I feel, helps me to keep the essence of the moment or subject alive on the canvas.
"I love what I do. To me, being an artist isn't so much an occupation as it is a way of life. As a general rule I work six days a week. I prefer to break my day into times for paper work in the morning and then painting from mid-morning until quitting time which is usually 5:30 or 6:00. This helps to keep balance to the 'business' of being an artist and helps to alleviate days filled with just paper work and telephone calls. Taking time for walks throughout the week is important to clear my head, mull over projects, and keep my life in perspective. To relax I enjoy hiking, hunting, tending my flower gardens, and fly fishing. These are hobbies that feed my art as well as my soul. My life as an artist is truly prodigious."
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