Rock Newcomb Biography Continued:

...loved it. As a result, he became an art major, earning both his B.A. and Master's Degree from California State University at Fullerton. Newcomb taught for 26 years before becoming an artist full-time and now conducts private workshops and seminars.

Newcomb loves having the freedom to create whatever he wishes and seeing his ideas come to fruition. He is especially drawn to subjects with interesting forms, textures, colors or patterns. Newcomb’s body of work includes still lifes depicting ancient Southwestern artifacts, fishing flies and wildlife.

Because of the complexity of his paintings of prehistoric pottery, Newcomb first does a preliminary drawing. Although he always has a plan when executing these paintings, they often take on a character of their own, and he follows where they may lead him. Using many washes of thin acrylic glazes similar to transparent watercolor, he achieves his distinctive and dramatic presentations.

To achieve the dramatic designs, colors and shapes of his fishing flies, Newcomb uses a technique not easily mastered, known as sgraffito. His initial drawings are first transferred onto a surface layer of scratchboard (usually clay-coated) on which he incises his designs using scratch knives. Newcomb, considered a master of sgraffito, takes this traditional approach even further with his addition of color to the scratchboard.

Newcomb's work, found in galleries throughout the U.S. and abroad, has been honored with awards in juried shows and exhibitions. These include the Swedish Museum of Natural History, The Smithsonian Institution, The Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum's "Birds in Art" and "Wildlife: The Artist's View," The National Parks Academy of the Arts "Arts for the Parks" Program (Newcomb was named the 1999 Region III Winner), The Zoological Society of San Diego, Christie's of London, Sotheby's of Sussex, England, Kimball Art Center, The Salmagundi Club, and Bennington Center for the Arts "Art of the Animal Kingdom," among others. PBS chose Newcomb as a demonstration artist for "The Artists Workshop" series, and many publications have featured his work.

Had he not become an artist, Newcomb most likely would have pursued his interest in the archaeology of the American West and Southwest. As an artist, his intriguing paintings enable art lovers to marvel at rarely seen ancient artifacts from this region. It is Newcomb's hope that generations yet to come will see his work and better appreciate the unique culture and rich artistry of those generations that came before.

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