Artist Gary Kunkelman

An example of fine art by Gary Kunkelman

Photo of Gary Kunkelman


You're either an ocean person or a mountain person, I'm told.  
I'm ocean, hands down.  I'm fascinated by its history, its wild energy, its beauty...  and by the ships and people that plied the seas over the centuries.   
The journey that set me on began with a decade of study with maritime painter Jack Coggins.  The second road to becoming a painter was the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.  Graduate school immersed me in historical research, which plays large in many of my works. Before devoting full time to making paintings I worked in journalism and advertising and for many years taught painting, design and professional writing at Penn State's Berks College.  
Accuracy is a goal, so my historical paintings invariably start in archives.  These might lead to documentary descriptions;  illustrations and on-the-scene reports from such 19th century journals as Harper's Weekly;  imges from the U.S. Navy collection or the Library of Congress, or sources as varied as World War II posters, Currier & Ives prints and advertising illustration.  
And then there's the here-and-now inspiration of the ocean and, particularly, where it meets land.  For me that's coastal South Carolina, where I live and work. Its magnificent light, skies and waters are always a celebration of the moment.

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