Nothing gets Morgan Weistling’s adrenalin going like telling a story. And, oh, the stories he tells.
Focusing on pioneer life in the late 1800s, Weistling’s epic scenes depict the men, women, and children in everyday situations, as they settled the West. Much like a movie director, he carefully stages his characters in scenes that transport time. Through his skillful use of color and light, he leads viewers from one face to another, from one object to another, encouraging them to stop along the way and savor the story.
“I’ve always loved storytellers; I liked art that told stories,” Weistling says, adding that it was storytelling art—from comics to illustrations of the golden age rather than contemporary abstract modernist paintings—that drew him to become an artist. “As I became more aware of art, I was drawn to the art of illustrators who told stories, like N.C. Wyeth and Howard Pyle. I learned, hey, you can communicate an idea, a story, through a painting. When I was trying to become an illustrator, I studied them to learn how to tell a story.”
“With flowers drying above and fresh flowers before her, this artisan adds the final touch of ribbons to the crown in her hands. Shafts of sunlight invade the space of this interior and illuminates this moment frozen in time.”
“My respect and admiration for the peace officers of this country comes with this portrait of a frontier lawman. Face cast in shadow, he stands before us representing one of the men who have served and protected our society since its beginnings. When new towns were started in the West, one of the first things they needed was someone like this fellow to uphold the law.”