George Strickland started his fine art career through the same door as countless American painters before him, with the kindred field of commercial art. He freelanced illustration, owned a successful design firm, and was a consultant to one of the nation’s large computer companies. His illustrations have received national recognition in CA Magazine, Today’s Art, American Artist, Illustrators Annual, and The New York Illustrators Society.
After moving out west with his wife, Carolita, in 1989, he purposely broke all commercial ties and dedicated himself to painting full-time. “The illustrations I had done earlier were primarily mixed media or watercolor, pencil, acrylic, ink, etc., but when I gave oil painting from life a try, it was as if the lights came on and there was an instant romance for me. The biggest surprise of all was that after painting on location for a few months I began to see more color around me than I had ever seen. In fact, although my eyes are not as good as they once were, I am aware of so much more than ever before. It’s a big kick for me to go up to one of my students and paint in a small section with color that they had not seen until I put it in. Then, most times, they can see that color on the object. Our brains are programmed to make quick assessments of things and generalize. But when you learn to look long and hard at life directly, unexpected things are revealed, and the world gets more beautiful right before your eyes!”
George paints still-lifes, wildlife, people and landscapes with an emphasis on the plein aire approach. His years of graphic experience have been enhanced by workshops with William Reese, Jim Wilcox, Ted Goershner, and CAA artists Pummell, Riley, Carter and Terpning.
Currently, George is painting and teaching throughout the west with showings at the CA Museum in Kerrville, Texas and a permanent exhibit at the Witte Museum in San Antonio, Texas. He was a finalist in the “Arts For The Parks” competition for five years, a member of the California Art Club, and a signature member of the Plein Aire Painters of America. In July 1999, George captured the 1st prize at the Annual Laguna Beach Plein Aire Paint-Out in California.