the art gallery of
This does not combine his finest work, but
simply things I still have in my possession. For the most part these
are examples of commercial work he did over the years. There are several
paintings yet to be added, which will detail some of the better examples
of his gallery art. Dad died in 1969, at 68, and had been a commercial
artist all his life. Most of the time he worked for the motion picture
industry, first in San Francisco, for Fox West Coast Theaters, then in
Hollywood, for Pacific Title, which did the screen credit and titles for
many motion pictures. During this time he did some science fiction magazine
covers on a freelance basis, mainly to please his son, a fanatic sci-fi
fan at that time. Years later, when he retired, he did quite a few pocket
book covers--many for my own books. Along with all this commercial work
there was the more serious art, little of which I still have. Some examples
of his art are shown on this page.
This is a large painting done especially for me, and was designed to create an image that fit my personal tastes. But the arches are based on a sci-fi cover he did for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.
Art was a serious business to Dad. He believed a person should use his creative abilities to express beauty, offering something to others--not just to artists and a few select "experts"--and make money doing so!
But even though committed completely to this concept, he enjoyed painting pictures which people could hang on their walls. To quote him:
"The highest compliment which can be given a true artist is when a person is willing to pay hard cash in order to own a painting--a creative product--which was formed from colors, brush and canvas out of the feeling and emotions in his own being--mind."
In the beginning years he developed his fine art abilities, while making a living doing commercial art; and only after retirement did most of his efforts go to painting for galleries.
Dad was born in 1901, Jan. 18, and died somme 68 years later, mere weeks before Man landed on the Moon. At an early age his family brought him to California, where he spent the rest of his life. While working for his father, as a teenager, Dad went to art school school at night, learning the fundmentals of his craft. In Los Angeles, on June 27, 1931, he married Betty Jane Stockberger, daughter of a newspaper editor.
In San Francisco he worked for Fox West Coast Theaters, making oil paintings to be hung in the lobbies as "ads" for the current film playing at the theater--now they use printed posters for the same purpose. During his free time he painted gallery art, and had showings in San Francisco, did movie ads for newspapers and designed a series of small pamplets for the California Missons. But beyond that and a few "faked" hard-cover jackets done late for motion picture title backgrounds (screen credits) he had little to prepare himself for magazine covers. In the early 40's he moved back to Los Angeles and worked for Pacific Title, where he did a lot of work for the movie industry.
In the early fifties Dad did some experimenting in sci-fi cover art, and the four black & white reproductions shown here [taken from the magazine layout for the Vertex article], are prime examples of the kind of work he did in those years for magazines.
In the last months of his life we were involved inputting together pocket books for publishers. There would have been at least 12 Nuetzell covers--the line was dropped after a year--if Dad's death hadn't aborted his efforts after the third book. Our concept was, at the time, to do large oil paintings (wrap-around covers--actually works of art to hang), the originals to be given to the authors.
Between the first magazine sale and last pocket book cover he managed to produce around 40 covers. When he started sci-fi work, in the early 50's, it was considered impossible to break into the New York market from the West Coast. But he managed. By the mid 50's Dad was getting assingments from such magazines as Famous Monsters of Filmland, Amazing Stories, Fantastic Stories, Fantasy & Science Fiction--along with many pocket book commissions.
To me, personally, the final painting my father
did--for my book Images of Tomorrow--combines both his commercial
and artistic talents in the very finest level. It was my personal treasure,
and I have the original hanging in my home. It was a final statement--a
perfect combination of what he stood for as an artist. It said it all.
*The four black & whites pictures included within the context of this article are pictures sold to magazines. The first was his first sale to Science Stories, the second and forth were sold to Ziff-Davis for their sci-fi magazines Amazing Stories and Fantastic Stories, the third painting was published as a cover on Fantasty & Science Fiction. The last one I had designed totally, in concept, actually offering the scarp necessary to help him put the images together. I always, therefore, kinda liked that one.