American Contemporary Cowhands & Ranch Lifestyle Painting
Raymond Wattenhofer was born in Minnesota where he grew up on a cattle operation with saddle horses. From early childhood, he developed a fascination for studying people and animals. He discovered his artistic ability to capture their characteristics in drawings first and later through paintings and sculptures.
After serving in the US Coast Guard, Raymond was honorably discharged and moved to Wyoming to learn the trade of saddle making. Highly skilled in designing and carving leather, he was hired by B-B Leather, Blackfoot, ID. While there, he made several trips to Jackson Hole, WY to tour art galleries. As a result of these visits, he was inspired to pursue a career in fine arts.
Raymond completed a two year illustrator course from Art Instructions Schools, Minneapolis. He also enrolled in art courses at Idaho State University where he studied sculpture and bronze casting. He finished his formal education with a BFA degree from Bemidji State University.
Raymond’s art portrays the authentic character of the contemporary cowhands and their way of life on the ranch. Raymond says,“Their personalities and lifestyle provide distinct characteristics that I find captivating.”
Raymond has worked in a variety of media over the years. His most recent creations are primarily oil, egg tempera, and watercolor paintings. He has also been successful with bronze sculptures of various sizes and has had several commissions. These include (but are not limited to) several heroic and life-size commissions. Raymond has shown his comprehensive ability and talent in all he creates as an artist.
- Rough Rider International Art Exhibit – Best of Show
- Rough Rider International Art Exhibit – Grand Prize Purchase Award
- Rushmore Mutual Insurance – Artist of the Year
- Augustana College – Best Sculpture
- Blandin Foundation – Heroic Size Bronze Sculpture
- Keenan and Clarey – Heroic Size Bronze Sculpture
- St. Peter The Apostle Catholic Church – 4’ x 9.5’ Oil Painting
- St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church – 3/4 Life Size Bronze Crucifix
- Riverside United Methodist Church – Two Heroic Size Flaming Cross
- Several Private Commissions
SOLVING DESIGN PROBLEMS BY COPYING NATURE.
Nov 13, 2017
Exploring compositional solutions is a daily challenge in my world of creating art. When I look at the complexities of nature I try to simplify what I am seeing so I am able to explore the various possibilities of creating a pleasing compositions.
I use various tools to enhance the compositions in my work and one of my favorites is the Fibonacci Sequence, also known as Phi =1.618, the golden number, aka golden ratio. In 1202 AD, Leonardo Fibonacci wrote a book that explains the mathematical relationship behind phi. The sequence was know by Indian mathematicians as early as 6th century AD, but it was Leonardo who introduced it to the west.
If I look carefully and with introspect I find phi everywhere in nature. It really is quite fascinating to explore the many possibilities when reducing the complexities of nature to create a simple composition that radiates throughout my work,
Turning to nature and applying the golden ratio is not only used by fine artists in creating both 2D and 3D art form, but by architects, product designers and many others who create pleasing designs to enhance the lives of humankind.
In conclusion, I don’t want to mislead anyone to think I am some sort of mathematical wiz-kid. I am not. I do find phi very helpful in a rudimentary way when working out compositional solutions in my work, My goal is to create pleasing compositions that are subtle and at the same time distinct and to the point.