|FRED HEWITT ARTIST CAPTURES NATURE
Views of majestic redwoods in easier and quieter days reproduced in a minute detail are the focus of Nipomo oil painter Fred Hewitt.
Although Hewitt's landscapes of the sequoia high country are crafted in meticulous style, the artwork appears to go beyond what the eye catches off the canvas. "One of the things I'm going to do in any my paintings is to go after the details, but in colors you'd probably never see in nature," he said. The artist demonstrated his award - winning techniques in photo - realistic oils at the general meeting of the El Camino Art Association Monday at Ramona Gardens Activity Center in Grover Beach.
"God gave it to me", Hewitt, 61, said of his art talent. "I thought everybody could do it until I entered competitions". A close examination reveals a clean, clear realism, seemingly formed from a photograph, but with a depth beyond what could be produced from a camera. He never takes snapshots, just records the scene in his mind. In one large canvas that depicted sunlight softly striking a stand of redwoods, Hewitt explained he only had a chance to briefly view that particular site but was able to create the setting in wondrous muted colors encompassing just about every facet of the scene, with more realistic tones than a photograph. "I just remember", he said with a smile.
Hewitt is originally from Kernville, near Lake Isabella, areas that had a major impact on his artwork. His father, James Robert Hewitt, was a landscape artist and an inspiration. "He was a big help," Hewitt said of his father. "Dad built an art studio in Bishop for Robert Wood (the noted landscape artist) and he got Wood to look at some of my stuff. He helped me out". Hewitt has been artistic for a long time. "I was drawing throughout high school," he said, and won a few awards but really didn't do anything with it for years.
A house painter by trade, Hewitt retired in 1998 and then had time to earnestly work on his talent. "I just sat down and started painting ," he said. "Sketching and painting. I really started to take it seriously". He also started entering art contests, in 2000, Hewitt took Best of Show, his first award, at the California Mid-State Fair. The following year, he took another Best of Show at the California State Fair and a second place Judges Award at the Santa Barbara County Fair.
Even with countless minute details in his paintings, Hewitt works fairly fast. Although usually involved with three paintings at a time - "One is wet, I go to the other" - "he completes one about every 10 to 14 days. Not only does he put his pieces up for exhibit and sale, he also instructs others in realistic painting. Each of Hewitt's paintings tells a story, drawing the viewer deep into the forest , bringing to mind places far away and long ago.
(from the Times Press Recorder) .
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