."you should paint what you know or are familiar with" is very
fitting for the Lawrenceville, Illinois artist Cal Sechrest.
Cals art is in reality a summary of his life. Where he was born and raised, his professional career, military service, childhood experiences and travels have all inspired the subjects he has used in his paintings. He was born and raised in a small rural farming and oil community in southern Illinois similar to the rural areas surrounding his home in Oklahoma City. His earlier paintings were of rural scenes, nostalgic images and of the early oil and gas Industry.
Cal worked for a major oil company as a drafting supervisor and graphic artist in southern Illinois before being transferred to Oklahoma City in 1991. He took early retirement in 2000 to live his dream of being a full-time artist. Cal moved back "Home" to Lawrenceville, Illinois June 2009. Cal and Wanda have built a new studio and new house in rural southeastern Illinois.
The move West allowed him to travel the western states and national parks more frequently, which has had a profound influence on his paintings. His subject matter has changed in recent years to western landscapes, cowboys, Indians and wildlife. He has been invited to the annual Artist Ride in South Dakota for the past 5 years gathering photos for reference for many of his cowboy and Indian paintings.
Cal has won numerous awards throughout the years but is most proud of being recognized by The Arts for the Parks as being among the best representational artists in the United States. He has become an internationally collected artist, having paintings in several private and corporate collections.
He continues to develop his style and techniques through workshops with some of the best artist in the fields of interest to him, such as:
Matt Smith - Western Landscape Artist
Ron Riddick - Western Artist
Dave Wade - Wildlife Artist
Luke Frazier - Sportsman and Wildlife Artist
Richard Loffler - Sculptor
Curt Walters - Landscape Artist
" While I admire such artist as Howard Terpning, James Reynolds, Bill Anton, Matt Smith
and others, I use their work to study their techniques to learn from...
I use my own reference material and draw from my own experiences
to create and develop my own style...
This is the fun part to me... the continuing challenge to push myself as far as I can go in
developing a recognizable style and to see the progress toward this goal each day
I want people to look at my work and say that's a Cal Sechrest painting."