Clark Sheppard - Whimsical Art
Clark Sheppard creates landscape pieces depicting the beautiful Sedona area with his own unique color flare. His process and beginnings are below - in his own words;
I wanted to discover if I had any artistic talent, so in 1990 I enrolled in an adult evening education art class in a local high school. I first chose to work with watercolor, thinking it would be the easiest to work in, but later discovered that it was the most difficult.
My first mentor was a friend, Gordon Haas, a professional artist who authored “No I’m not starving.” I showed Gordon my first watercolor and he encouraged me to continue painting. I asked Gordon, “What do I do next?”, and he replied, “The next time you want to paint something, bring me the reference and I will show you how to lay it out.”
What I brought was “Christmas Eve” by Thomas McKnight that I found on the back of the Reader’s Digest. I was so inspired by McKnight’s use of color and light that I decided to pay homage to him by using the “Mc” and inserting it in front of my old U.S. Army nickname of “Shep”. To this day, I sign my art “McShep”, which is also the name of my website, www.mcshep.com.
Since moving from NJ in 2004 to Sedona, Arizona, I’ve delighted in being immersed in the magical presence that is so palpable in Sedona. I’m ever so grateful to be living my life and creating my whimsical landscape art in this most spiritual and wondrous place. I love the fact that I’m never at a loss for what I’ll be painting next. There’s just so much inspiration coming from all directions and all levels, from magnificent 360-degree landscapes that I witness on my hikes, to the abundance of like-minded and like-hearted folks with congruent spiritual mindsets.
Since the licensing of my art to Warner Bros., I’ve been looking to develop a specialized niche utilizing my vibrant color palette, for which I’m known. Having learned about an offer for a “Modern Abstract” workshop here in Sedona at the Sedona Art Center, I knew it was time to expand my horizons farther. I’ve dubbed my new style “Whimsically Abstracting the Landscape Sky”. I always start with the sky and let the rest of the painting fall out of me! When you see my art in person, it has a 3-D look to it, because of the vivid contrast created by my intentional color choice, and placement of specific colors next to one another.