Artist Joseph Yarnell

An example of fine art by Joseph Yarnell

Photo of Joseph Yarnell



Jerry Yarnell was born in Tulsa, 1953. His early art hung everywhere, from relative’s homes to his high school hallways. A wonderful high school teacher, Opal Thorpe, introduced Jerry to the art world. She believed he had talent and she gave him more real art instruction than any other teacher. She also gave him special privileges. Instead of being in class with the other students she allowed Jerry to paint by himself in an empty room during school. Another early influence was a well-known portrait artist, Diane Bailey Woodruff. She lived around the corner from the house he grew up in Tulsa. He would baby-sit for her. In return she allowed Jerry to roam around her studio, examine her artwork, ask questions, and learn painting techniques. While still in high school Jerry won two scholarships to the Philbrook Art Center in Tulsa Oklahoma. Philbrook has a wonderful art program. The school was mostly modern art and some impressionism art. On his first day of class his assignment was to paint two nude models. Jerry was not excited about this type of art instruction. He wanted to learn realism from successful artists. He never returned to class and gave up his scholarship. Being an artist was Jerry's only ambition. A gallery in Tulsa, the Nelson Portrait Studio asked him to hang a painting. It hadn't been there long when a rodeo announcer was in town and bought his painting. Jerry sold his first painting for $200.00. He was so elated he ran all the way home to show his parents how much money one could make as an artist. That first sell made his mind up on having a career in art. Soon he was invited to participate in the school's 'art-in-action' program. Well-known artists were asked to demonstrate. The crowds were [...]

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