Every day I will be proud of my creative choices

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Clarence McGrath

Clarence McGrath
I first learned about him when I found a card for a show he had at O'Brien's gallery in Scottsdale. I have no memory of where or when I got the card, I think it was about 10 to 12 years ago. It's funny but the card just says it's a show for February and didn't have a year posted on the it. The first 6 images below were on that card.

 Scott showed at O'Brien's in the mid 90's and we got all the art magazines back then, but had never heard of him, what a shame.. I was completely blown away by his work.  I couldn't believe people weren't talking about him. Anyway, after searching the internet I found the 7 images below. It's almost impossible to find information on him except a small bio or a miniature resale at an auction house. I hope that people who own his paintings will put them out there on the web for us all to appreciate. Unfortunately he died in 2007 and must have stop painting for galleries in the early 90's sometime What a loss for the art world.

I was staying at a ladies house and she had hundreds of old art magazines, I love to look through them to see how the trends have changed or if the same artists are still around a decade or more later. Below I found an ad for another show that McGrath had at O'Brien's in 1990.

The painting below from Kathmandu was in Western Art Digest in1986. It's say's  "Clarence McGrath was born in Duncan, Arizona in 1938. Studied under California artists Phil Gilkerson, Leon Franks and Russian born Sergei Bongart. At the age of 24 he was awarded the John F and Anna Lee Stacey fellowship award. He was also an academician of the National Academy of Wetern Art.
For the past several years, the artist has maintained his home and studio in Mexico and the majority of his work depicts the Mexican people. His extensive travels throught the Middle East have also provided him with the subjects to paint. While occasionally depicting still life or landscape, McGrath is essentially a painter of the human figure. He has been honored with over forty exhibitions of his works."    ( if he's had that many shows, where are all his paintings, I want to know !!!!)

He wrote  " Find the best looking thing you can ( not necessarily the most beautiful, but something that grabs your guts and makes your mind rise and your toes tap) and try to make it better. "Fechin said, 'The subject matter is just the excuse to try to make a painting.'"

I hope you get as much a charge out of seeing his work as I do


  1. I Love his work, thanks for find him out. Cheers

  2. What a great painter and I've never heard of him either, thanks for posting this.

  3. Low and behold
    Here I am, looking for your instructional video, and I find Mr. McGrath. I am the lucky owner of one fine portrait by Clarence McGrath. I bought it in TX. Tried researching him, only to find he had recently passed (the year I found it). You have done us all a great favor posting his beautiful paintings.
    I will indeed send you a photo of this amazing portrait. Where are others of his works? I'm curious, too. You are great to post this. Many thanks, Suzanne

  4. McGrath was a 1956 graduate of Duncan High School in Duncan, AZ where his art teacher was H.T. (Shorty) Clothier.

    In Duncan also resided at that time Hal H. Empie, another famous artist.

    McGrath was 4 years older than me and I did not know him personally. He had a brother one year older than me, a sister one year younger me, and a brother a couple of years younger than that.

    All of us were graduated from Duncan High School.

    McGrath's brothers and sister still live in this area; in Duncan or relatively close to Duncan.