|Artist Skip Hartzell in his art studio|
South Florida artist Skip Hartzell is known locally as “the dog artist”. He is a longtime supporter of no-kill animal rescues and donates proceeds from the sale of his artworks to animal-rescue, no kill shelters. The artist creates large oil paintings, works on paper and four-legged sculptures inspired by man’s best friend.
|Left: ‘Raw Dog #1’, Mixed materials with Burlap and Concrete, 75 x 45 x 35 Inches. Right: ‘Raw Dog Bails’, Mixed materials with Burlap and Concrete on Steel Base|
55 x 35 x 24 Inches
His inspiration comes in the form of a morning walk, accompanied by a furry friend. The canine-inspired artworks that he creates are figments of his artistic imagination and creative vision. Hartzell creates directly from his emotions and instincts, his work is inspired by dogs of all shapes, sizes and varieties. He is best known for his unique sculptures recognized immediately by their distinct form and style only Hartzell can produce.
“The sculptures are partly abstract with lanky legs and floppy ears and body postures that tell shaggy dog stories. He has created his own kind of material, mixing resin and paper mache onto a wire frame then coating it with paints, clay, and wax until he achieves the surface he wants. He likes the surface to look ‘beat up’. When it’s finally done he stamps it with a small red heart as his signature,” said art writer & art critic Sandra Schulman of Hartzell’s dog sculptures in West Palm Beach Magazine.
|'Waiting', Resin and Oil, 28 x 20 x 12 Inches|
|Happy Skip Hartzell Collectors, Art Palm Beach fair|
“The texture is so important because the tactile experience of sculpture is so primal for me,” he says. “You grab with your hands and just start to mush things together and get your fingers on the materials, and there is just such a richness to the feel.” He says whenever he’s doing a show, he is quick to hand his sculptures to the patrons so they can enjoy the feeling, too. And whether it’s paint on canvas or sculpture, the texture is one of the most captivating and inviting parts of experiencing his artwork. Hartzell may not set out to mimic the look of someone’s beloved pet, but he says his sculptures and paintings often evoke a fond memory of a furry family member.
|‘Partners’, Resin & Graphite, 25 x 37 x 21 Inches|
“If you love dogs, you are going to love Skip Hartzell’s soulful pieces. His work is representative of caricature features of dogs,” said J. Marshall Adams, the executive director of the A.E. Backus Museum and Gallery in Historic Downtown Fort Pierce where Hartzell has held exhibitions.
|Cultural Council of Palm Beach County’s 2019 Group Show, “Paws and Claws: Animals in Art” featuring Skip Hartzell|
“Although I love dogs, my art is about much more, it is about form, movement and mostly about the painterly expression and texture of the surface,” Hartzell says. The artist has held numerous solo exhibitions at notable art galleries and prestigious art fairs such as Art Palm Beach, A.E. Backus Museum, ArtHouse 429, Paul Fisher Gallery, Aqua Art Fair during Art Basel Miami Beach and many more.