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John Hagan
Virgil Elliott
Phil Brush
Red Ochre
Hans de Feat
Leon Arduous
Rube Arends
Iian Neil
Richard Krause
William Whitaker

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John Hagan
Born March 1945

John Hagan was trained and graduated as a senior high school teacher. He first taught in outback Australia which he likens to teaching in Austin, Texas 1860. In 1966 on receiving news of his rejection of a free trip to Viet Nam John Hagan departed Australia for England where he graduated from Newland’s Park faculty of Reading University College with distinctions in art, psychology and philosophy - and a university blue in the sport of fencing which was gained primarily due to his providing transport for the team rather than any major successes with the blade.

His first exhibition was in 1975 when he learnt the hard commercial reality that supplying free drinks and food to the general public did not guarantee equivalent largess on their part.
Since then he has held many more exhibitions, travelled the world and been occupied as a professional painter, writer and illustrator. He has worked as a portrait painter, a landscape painter, a sports illustrator, and a genre painter of historical events as well as a garbage collector and a labourer - and all this he said, between long bouts of unemployment. He has painted portraits of two premiers and one Prime minister.

As a writer Hagan says he has also worked as a part-time journalist’s assistant - he used to order the drinks (and once even had a bar tab in the Foreign Correspondence’s Club in Hong Kong). While recovering from 'painters paralysis' he wrote a three hundred page historical novel dealing with the court-martial and subsequent execution of the twelve mutineers recaptured after the Bounty mutiny.

John Hagan is the sole provider of painting lessons for all 'Admiral Cowdisley Group' sites as well WetCanvas and GEM - a special project of the White House and the US Department of Education and through 'ERIC' - (the US Education Resources Information Center). He is represented on both the Syracuse University's 'GEM' governance board and the 'GEM' steering committee. Hagan's drawing lesson notes for teachers and painting lessons are currently being used by many schools, universities and public librarys in the US, Canada, UK, and Australia. His paintings, writings and lessons can be easily accessed on-line through any of the above institutions.
Hagan has been a professional painter since 1975. His two brothers are also professional painters and exhibit in galleries in Vail and San Deigo and also market popular instructional painting manuals through national art magazines.
Hagan's golf handicap is 14 he has been married three times and has three beautiful daughters.



Phil Brush
has been involved in marketing and information technology for nearly 20 years. Prior to freelancing, she was the manager of Special Projects for the Canadian marketing arm of one of the Big Three automakers, a position that encompassed new software development and promotional projects as diverse as a monthly sales-trend newsletter for car dealerships and a pre-Internet dial-in online 'casino' sales-incentive program. Her recent work is concentrated in web design, information processing, and Internet promotions. In addition to serving clients, she is currently managing the development and launch of a web-based art promotion service specializing in the newly emerging Classical Realists.* She is also an amateur art-historian and is studying part time under the maestro John Angel (making progress at a speed that will launch her painting career in about 30 years).


Hans de Feat
Born: March 17, 1958
Residence: Toronto, Canada

Hans was involved in art at a very early age as his father was a rather skilled hobby artist. He participated in art projects as any school child would, and he drew and copied at home with the guidance of his father. When he was 16 years old, he was chosen to participate in a travelling art exhibition, sponsored by Museums Canada, which displayed the finest wildlife art in Canada each year and went to all major Canadian cities.

After that, Hans did not do too much art for about 21 years. During that period he took the time to acquire a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, an LL.B. (Bachelor of Laws ) and an LL.M.(Master of Laws) in Intellectual Property law. He practiced law for approximately 7 years. For the past 3 and a half years, Hans has devoted himself totally to becoming a professional artist.

He is now a senior student at the atelier and is one of the assistant teachers. He also teaches art to Mature Adults through the City of Toronto Community centres.

Hans has a wide variety of experience in life and has learned to use all of it in whatever project is at hand. A good writer, Hans has written on legal subjects for lay people and non-legal professionals. His public speaking and writing have always been met with complimentary reviews. He is a former annual instructor at the Bar Admissions Course for the Province of Saskatchewan.

As Hans is now emmersed exclusively in the art world, his work is beginning to be commissioned and purchased by individuals. His interests are in finely-crafted representational art, dealing primarily with human subjects.

Apart from English, Hans speaks Spanish and has a working knowledge of Italian and French, and a tiny smattering of Japanese.


Virgil Elliott
Born August 30, 1944, St. Louis, Missouri, first son of Virgil Elliott, Senior, and Dollye McAlister Elliott, a schoolteacher and amateur artist, who began teaching Virgil to draw seriously in 1945. Thus was kindled a lifelong obsession with drawing and painting, which he has pursued diligently ever since.

While still a child, he took correspondence courses in art from the Famous Artists School in Bridgeport, Connecticut, founded by Norman Rockwell and taught by the leading illustrators of the day, including Robert Fawcett, Albert Dorne, Austin Briggs, Steven Dohanos and Harold Von Schmidt, all of whom were very helpful in his artistic development.

Seeing a Rembrandt portrait for the first time at age 15 moved him so profoundly that he resolved to master the art of painting, himself, with the Old Masters representing the standard to which he would aspire.

As a soldier in the U.S. Army, Virgil was stationed in Mannheim, Germany in 1963-’65, where he studied art in the evenings, painting in the alla prima style in oils.

After the Army he attended several colleges and universities for brief periods each, but was disappointed by the vehemence with which the modernist agenda was being pushed, and the lack of attention given to the fundamentals of realistic drawing and painting. From that point on, he undertook to teach himself what the colleges would not.

In 1982 Virgil Elliott moved from commercial art to fine art. He began exhibiting publicly and entering juried competitions, in which he won many awards, and joined the Society of Western Artists, which had been founded along the lines of the American Society of Classical Realism many years before ASCR came into being. He became a member of SWA’s Board of Directors in 1987, and as its representative on the Artists’ Advisory Panel to the California State Fair’s art show, initiated and spearheaded a successful effort to open the show to representational art for the first time in many years, and to depose the officials responsible for its prior exclusion. It was through SWA that he discovered R.H. Ives Gammell’s book, Twilight of Painting.

He began teaching art privately and lecturing publicly in 1983, continuing through the present. From 1995 to 1998 Elliott also taught at the College of Marin, Indian Valley Campus, in Ignacio, California, at which his classes became very popular with the most serious students.

In 1985 Virgil Elliott became one of 24 artists in the world to be certified by the American Portrait Society. In 1996 he was elected an Associate Member of the Artist’s Guild of the American Society for Classical Realism (sponsored by Kirk Richards), and a Signature Member of the American Society of Portrait Artists. That same year he won an award in The Artist’s Magazine’s annual portrait competition.

He has had four articles published in The Portrait Signature thus far, with another one in the works. He has recently been asked to write the essay on William Bouguereau’s working methods for the upcoming William Bouguereau Catalogue Raisonné. In addition, He is currently nearing completion on his own book on advanced oil painting techniques from the Renaissance to the present.

As a member of the ASTM D01.57 Committee, which sets standards for artists’ materials in the United States, Elliott is an active advocate of the continued availability of the widest possible range of artists’ materials in the marketplace, and of full disclosure of the ingredients in paints and mediums. Through ASTM he is in contact with top conservation scientists, industry insiders, authors and other experts in the art materials field, and with up-to-date information on the latest scientific discoveries relevant to artists.


Richard Krause
I was born in St. Louis in 1945 and received my formal higher education at the Washington University School of Engineering in the mid-60's. I eventually earned my Professional Engineering License while working as a Project Manager for a large industrial contractor, Sachs Electric. It took me over 10 years to realize how much I disliked the work, and when I finally mustered up the courage to quit, I got involved in the then-fledgling video production field.
I started and operated a very small production company, Motion Video Inc., in the very early 80's. I had naive ambitions of becoming a big league film director someday, but circumstances beyond my control forced me to abandon the field entirely in the mid 80's.
I then spent the next 6 years writing a book, "In The Winds Of Time," which I still consider the single intellectual accomplishment of my life. At any rate, while working on illustrations for my still unpublished book, I became interested in traditional art and took up oil painting (portraits) in 1993.
I had never experienced such a passion in my life, and that's what I've been doing ever since...with the exception of the last several months which have been spent building a portfolio website for my art work. (http://www.originaldo.com)
Compared to the majority of Blindeyeists, my sketchy bio may seem artfully inexperienced. But I ask that you judge my abilities to help our cause not by my relatively few years of art experience, but by taking a look at my work.
Though my credentials would in no way qualify me as an art critic, I hope that my creative eye and imaging abilities, both digital and traditional, can be of use to Blindeye.


Rube Arends


Leon Arduous
Born May 24, 1953 San Diego, California

1977-1979 Attended college with two four-year scholarships for achievement in art San Jose State University B.A. Art, with distinction San Jose, California
1971-1973 University of Houston Houston, Texas
1967-1971 Woodside High School Woodside, California

My real art teachers were my parents--my father, a theoretical physicist, and my mother, once an artists' model and student at the Chicago Art Institute, the Bauhaus, and the California College of Arts & Crafts. My father, who is a disciplined thinker and when young was a concert violinist, has a lifetime devotion to the arts and science.

My mother orchestrated my childhood to be centered around music, dance, sculpture, drawing, painting and science. From my mother, I learned the materials and skills of art, and also the importance of beauty. From my father, I learned appreciation and importance of expression, and the habits of scientific inquiry. From early teen years, I had jobs in art, from teaching to portrait painting.

At eighteen, with a clear sense of what art was supposed to be, I entered college with full scholarships for achievement in art. It was there that I confronted modernist indoctrination. My preferences in art were simultaneously praised and condemned by instructors. While I was appreciated for my aptitude in drawing and painting, I was also warned that my work smacked of "mere illustration." In my freshman year, instructors told me they could teach me nothing further about drawing and painting. I was advised to experiment and do something "new."

Upon graduation, having not received any education in art, I received my BA in studio painting, with an A average throughout. In order to graduate with honors, I fulfilled the required training in artspeak. Once graduated, I never looked back. After college, with the vision I learned as a child, I resumed my training. Unable to find a teacher who could serve my needs, I trained myself.

1972 to 1983 Continuously employed in art related fields. Jobs have included technical illustrator, Lockheed; natural science/graphic artist for environmental consulting firm, San Francisco; architectural renderer, Houston and Palo Alto.
Also, archeological, San Jose; photo retoucher, Redwood City; display artist and landscape drawing teacher, Yosemite National Park. During this time: I also made portraits and cartoons, trained new employees, and solved various art related problems each employer.


Iian Neill

1. Born January 30, 1978.

2. My interest in drawing and painting was kindled by a high-school art teacher in 1991.

3. In 1994 (grade ten) I won the subject prizes for both Computing and Art. Unfortunately, they decided not to award a cash prize to winners that year!

4. I spent one year in a Fine Arts course at the University of Tasmania in 1994. I left this course as it failed to provide satisfactory instruction in any of those techniques vital to the creation of classic art. One could even go so far as to say that the course was hostile to contemporary classical art.

5. A move to Brisbane the next year broadened my knowledge of art, and allowed me to see works by Alfred Gilbert, Tintoretto, Francisco Goya and John William Waterhouse in the flesh. Also in this year I began work on scanning paintings, sculptures and drawings for my new site, The Renaissance Cafe.

6. In 1998 I studied English, Ancient History, Modern History, Art History and Philosophy at the University of Queensland. Financial and other reasons caused me to leave this course. I was offered membership in the Golden Key society and was placed on the Dean's List. I also saw a number of works by Debat-Ponsan, J.A.D. Ingres, J.L. Gerome, Ludwig Deutsche and Gustave Moreau at the Australasian Orientalist exhibition the same year.

7. I started an internet archive in 1996 which mainly featured the lesser known works of Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Leonardo da Vinci. About this time I also created an archive of my drawings, paintings and photographs.

8. The Renaissance Cafe was started in earnest, though, in 1997 when I was in Brisbane. I was 19 years old at this point. Much of the Renaissance Cafe as it stood was uploaded later in 1998. Critical reaction to the site was encouraging.

9. In 1999 I enrolled in the Information Technology course at the TAFE city campus in Launceston. This year has seen the vast expansion of my internet art-archive, The Renaissance Cafe. This archive is now well over 900 megabytes in size and features over 2,500 paintings, sculptures and drawings, chiefly by neglected artists of the 19th century.

10. In the year 2000 I continue to add to the Renaissance Cafe, which will be printed on to CD-ROM later this year. Also due on CD-ROM is the Art Resource CD, which is a collection of all those art-works I've downloaded from the internet, including e-text books and classical music MIDI files.

11. I continue to teach myself art by copying the works of the Masters and drawing from life. I am also attempting to become a writer and take as my models, primarily, Oscar Wilde, Lord Dunsany, Edgar Allan Poe, and the King James Bible. Time will tell whether anything comes out of these endeavours.

Iian internet site is called the 'Renaissance Café'.


Red Ochre


William Whitaker

The only son of an artist father, William Whitaker grew up in the special world of the working artist. He had access to the finest art materials and was painting in watercolor and oil at the age of six. His fondest early memories are of the sights sounds and smells of the art studio. The art world of his childhood and youth was the brave new world of abstract expressionism and until he was well out of college his natural inclination to draw accurately and his love for traditional realism was a source of inner conflict. Nevertheless he was fortunate, starting at age 17, to receive a thorough grounding in academic figure drawing and painting from the portrait painter Alvin Gittins at the University of Utah.

Whitaker loves to paint from life in an old fashioned studio. No matter what direction his art takes him, he always comes back to the model in the studio, the form bathed in the beautiful quiet cool light coming down from a high north window. He refers to this kind of seeing and painting as the Old Testament of art and feels there is enough magic to engage him there for the rest of his life.

He believes the value of painting is to be found in its spiritual power. Having been told all his life that the kind of painting he loves is dead, he takes quiet comfort in lovingly attempting to capture something the camera cannot see. He is also delighted that there are so many wonderfully talented young artists who are not bound or inhibited by contemporary art world conventions and who are out to paint beautifully crafted pictures without apology.

He has been a professional artist since 1965. During the past thirty-four years, he has been a university art professor, conducted art workshops, and continues to work with one or two advanced student artists for fun.