Baby Big Horns
The Arlington Cemetery Caisson Horses
Donkey & Goat at Twilight
Polar Bears ~ Endangered
Lioness At Rest
Forrest Sheperd has studied as a fine artist since his teens. From High School, he attended evening and weekend classes with Cesare Borgia, the principal instructor at the Reilly League of Artists in White Plains, NY. Forrest’s figurative, American impressionist painting style is directly related to this early training Mr. Borgia founded the Reilly League, following the painting techniques of the late Frank Reilly, who was one of the most influential art teachers of his time at the Art Students League in New York. Forrest was a Reilly League member and student artist from 1980 until 1987, studying the traditional techniques of portraiture, figure painting and life drawing. These Reilly League techniques are also evident in Forrest’s composition and understanding of the science of light – an approach first promoted by the great impressionists. Forrest says that he was influenced by the full spectrum of talent among master painters, going back to Jan Van Eyck, who is considered the grandfather of oil painting.
“They were true craftsmen as well as artists,” Forrest says, adding that “The age old craft of art’ is of greater value, than adhering to any painting style, or historic period of art.”
For the past 32 years, Forrest pursued multiple degrees, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Management at Syracuse University (SUNY College, ESF), and a Master’s Degree in Wildlife Sciences at Purdue University. Forrest was fascinated with anatomy and mammals of all species. He graduated with honors and pursued a career as an executive in Geographic Information Systems in California and the Washington, D.C. area, before returning to New York in 2009.
Today, Forrest and Hillary Sheperd own and operate the Servpro of Scarsdale/Mount Vernon in Westchester, NY, and he paints when he can. Forrest prefers working with oils on hardboard panels.
Forrest prepares each panel with a custom rabbit skin glue sizing – that is then gessoed with a traditional recipe of rabbit skin glue, gypsum and whiting. Because panels are impractical for larger paintings, Forrest switches to fine linen canvas.
“My job is to create paintings that tell a story, using the tools of composition, color and tone – and, light of course. This gives expression to visual melodies and harmonies that I find in the natural world. If I’m successful, you can share in the emotions inherent in art.”