The new April 2015 edition of Plumage-TX magazine features an article about Boerne, Texas artist Bill Scheidt. Bill's article is an interview based conversation; with Bill discussing his inspirations, life story and how art has played a role in his life.
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Wildlife Artist for Conservation
Wildlife/Western artist Bill Scheidt channels his reverence for animals into his art where he instills a sense of wonder; hoping to communicate a sense of spirituality through the safeguarding of our natural heritage. Scheidt developed his love for the animal world growing up on a 1,300 acre ranch in Bandera County, Texas. He reminisces about sitting in a deer blind for hours on end, "…Seen all kinds of wild game from golden eagles to javelinas. Sometimes sitting there from daylight to dark, that's where I kind of got my love for the wildlife." Unfortunately, discouraged from attending art school, Scheidt had to redirect his life; spending 4 years in the Navy and then holding down various occupations afterward.
Primarily a self-taught artist, Scheidt kept pursuing his art on the side during his career as a farrier (horseshoer) and horse trainer for 17 years. When occupational pain prevented him from continuing his farrier career unless he had surgery, his wife encouraged him to pursue his painting full time. Even though he admits to having a "rough start," he was able to begin to fulfill his lifelong desire and finally immerse himself in his artistry. His art career has spanned close to 30 years, having participated in many exhibitions locally and nationally.
He has been a member of various artist organizations: American Plains Artists, Artists for Conservation and Oil Painters of America to name just a few. Most recently he was featured in "Cerebral Dichotomies of the Boerne Dyad," a two person show at J.R. Mooney Gallery-Boerne with fellow artist Sidney Sinclair. "Empty Nest" is one of the signature pieces of the "Dichotomies" exhibition that highlights Scheidt's abilities in capturing the presence and beauty of animals in their natural surroundings in oil paint on canvas. Portrayed in fantastic detail are a pair of burrowing owls that are in their element upon the plain, enjoying the vastness after being cooped up in their underground denizen.
Hanging next to this piece in the exhibition is the stunning "Pheasant Fields" which features a pair of pheasants, accentuating Scheidt's unmistakable eye in capturing and observing detail, from the teal iridescence on the male pheasant's plumage to the female's delicate feather striations; this pair stands in unity against a backdrop of windswept grassy fields. In "Harem Master", the main focal point, bathed in Aurelian light, is a majestic antlered buck ruling over his "harem". A group of females are in cool shadow in the distance, creating dramatic contrast; a dichotomy of polarities: male, female; warm, cool; singular, multiple. Another example of Scheidt's immense capacity for painting nature is "Block Creek Bluff," an ode to the wilderness as a lone raptor soars over a rocky cliff side that is nestled amid brilliant gold treetops: a testament to the magnificent independence and strength of this solitary creature in his quest for survival amid uncertain terrain.
Scheidt's passion and commitment to the preservation of nature go beyond the subject matter of his art; he is an active member of Artists for Conservation, a worldwide artist advocacy organization that contributes percentages of their artwork sales to environmental causes of the artists' choice. Scheidt's favorite conservation organization is the local Boerne Cibolo Nature Center, a conservancy initiative that protects the fragile Cibolo Creek Watershed located in the Texas hill country. This watershed ranges from north Boerne and continues south for 96 miles until it joins the San Antonio River, recharging the Edwards and Trinity Aquifers along its way and is home to many sensitive and threatened species like the Guadalupe Bass and the golden-cheeked warbler. He exhibits regularly with the Artists for Conservation along with 500 other signature members, whose art exhibits promote environmental stewardship and protecting our natural habitats.
For Scheidt, the inspiration to create may come from a certain light condition or an experience that will evolve itself from rough pencil sketches to fully finished oil painting. When asked what sort of response he would like his art to evoke in his viewers, he replies," I would like something in my art to move them.” Ever humble, he elaborates on the foundational belief in being an instrument of the Creator, the source that truly guides his art. "It's not just me doing the work…it's the guy upstairs that's working through my hand, that makes it what it is; maybe people see that."
© Katherine Shevchenko, Art Consultant, J.R. Mooney Gallery, Boerne 3/2015
Bill Scheidt's paintings are available for purchase at J.R. Mooney Gallery, Boerne.
For more info please contact the gallery 830-816-5106
"The Cerebral Dichotomies of the Boerne Dyad" official website
Artists for Conservation
Cibolo Nature Center