Dustin Van Wechel, b. 1974, United States
Since leaving a successful eight year career in advertising to pursue fine art on a full time basis, Dustin Van Wechel has been poised to ascend to the top in the genre of wildlife painting. As a young boy growing up in Arizona, trips with his father into the high country instilled a deep love of the mountains and appreciation for nature, the environment and the animals.
Influenced by such iconic wildlife artists as Carl Rungius, Bob Kuhn, Tucker Smith and Ken Carlson, it is clear Van Wechel has a very thorough understanding of his subject matter in addition to excellent drawing skills, bold, painterly brushwork and a strong sense of design.
In a recent article in Western Art Collector Van Wechel says, “Painting wildlife provides a well of opportunity to communicate not only my personal experiences and perceptions of my subjects but also provides a window into understanding what moves me as an artist and who I am as a person.” He adds, “I choose to paint wildlife because this is what gets me most excited about painting. I find inspiration everywhere, but it’s in wildlife and landscapes where I am most driven to paint.”