By Bonnie Gangelhoff
What inspired your winning entry? I wanted to show that in the fast-paced life we sometimes lead, we don’t always take the time to appreciate the little things. This was my dog Snowball. She was very laid-back, easygoing, and loved life. One of my favorite comedians was George Carlin, and he would often say, “Life is short, enjoy the little things.” That’s why I also included a ticket stub from a show of his that I saw a few months before he died. We all just need to stop and smell the roses.
Do you come from an artistic background? My uncle was an illustrator for Mack Trucks. My grandfather was a draftsman. He raised me and was very supportive of my goals.
Where did you study art? I have an associate’s degree in painting and illustration from Luzerne County Community College in Nanticoke, PA, and I did a four-year apprenticeship with Anthony Waichulis.
What is your favorite subject matter, and why? I enjoy painting animals, usually dogs. I like to observe their behavior. Sometimes they act human-like. It’s a humorous fact, one that I like to incorporate in my paintings.
What is the best advice you have ever received? Work hard. Never give up on your dreams. And always have fun.
What is the most meaningful recognition you have received for your artwork? When I approached my very first gallery. I had driven four hours to get there, and I walked into the gallery and asked if they would consider representing me. They were having a group show that very night, and the owner said, “Let’s put two paintings in the show, see what kind of attention they receive, and take it from there.” Well, I sold both paintings in the first half hour of the show. It was a great moment. And of course winning any award is always great.
What is the one thing people will never see you paint? Abstract art.
Future goals? To continue to paint the very best I can, expand my collectors across the country, to keep learning as I go, stay focused, and have fun.
Representation: Scottsdale Fine Art, Scottsdale, AZ; Meyer Gallery, Santa Fe, NM; Galerie Kornye West, Fort Worth, TX; www.jdavenportart.com.
Featured in our annual “21 Over 31” competition in November 2010