|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|The following, submitted October 2005, is from Thomas Reiter, neighbor of the artist. |
"At one with nature", From GM Today
By Amy Siewert , (Managing Editor of Lifestyle West and M Magazines, Milwaukee).
When you look at Scott Zoellick, you get the instant feeling that he’s a relaxed outdoorsman who loves bonding with nature.
Sitting amongst his many trophy mounts from memorable hunts, his smile
and pleasant attitude reveal a man who enjoys life to the fullest in
his career as a
wildlife artist and publisher. Scott Zoellick of Brookfield has won many awards for
his artwork. Zoellick believes going out in the field and observing
wildlife is important in capturing the right details in his work.
The 44-year-old Brookfield native has plenty to smile about. Not only
has he achieved more than 25 awards and honors for his artwork — he has
hunted game in remote places that would make any avid hunter envious.
His experiences of hunting musk ox near the Arctic, cape buffalo in
Tanzania and countless hunts in Wisconsin and beyond, have given him
the first-hand experience with the animals he loves to paint.
His love of the outdoors and art stems from when he was a youngster,
sharing many special moments with his father Peter who is a retired
artist and illustrator.
“From the time I was a little kid I knew I wanted to be an artist,”
Zoellick said. “We used to sketch a lot. My dad loved to sketch
and do watercolors and would go on location.”
From sitting on the shores of Lake Michigan sketching boats, to
enjoying a nature scene in the field, Zoellick began developing his
talent at a tender age
with his father.
Zoellick’s father took the path toward working for an advertising
agency where he spent 40 years at Hoffman York in Milwaukee, retiring
as its creative director.
But Zoellick knew he wanted to travel down a different road with brush in hand.
“Growing up with my dad in the advertising business I knew I didn’t want to be in that business at all,” he said.
Zoellick began painting in grade school, selling his first work while
still attending St. Dominic’s in Brookfield. Although he doesn’t
remember what the
painting was, he said he remembers knowing that he had found his calling.
Tom Rost of Cedarburg, an illustrator for Outdoor Journal, was
Zoellick’s mentor in his younger days. Zoellick began illustrating for
magazines including line drawings and full color illustrations before
he enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in the mid
At that time Zoellick came to a crossroads on what he wanted to take up as a profession.
“My intense interest for fishing was peaking as well. I thought about
doing fishing professionally,” he said. During that period, he was a
fishing guide in Northern Wisconsin.
After three years at Stevens Point, he finished his degree at the
Milwaukee School of Art, which is now the Milwaukee Institute of Art
“College was my exploratory time. My goal was to become a well-rounded good artist,” he explained.
Instead of concentrating solely on acrylics and oil—the forms of
mediums he mainly works with today—he dabbled in illustrating and other
forms of art. While
still in school, he took on such jobs as working as a courtroom illustrator for television stations.
He also was well-known in the world of magazines as an illustrator
working for such publications as Outdoor Life, Field & Stream,
National Wildlife, Wisconsin
Sportsman and the Wisconsin DNR’s publication, Wisconsin Natural Resources, just to name a few.
His talent for sketching people combined with drawing things in nature,
put him in a unique position as a magazine illustrator. Zoellick said
that many magazine
illustrators are good at one or the other, but cannot draw both types of subjects well.
His work has not only graced the pages of these magazines, but his
paintings have appeared on the covers of more than 25 major
publications. He was also
responsible for drawing many of the Miller beer mirrors that are quite collectible today.
About two-thirds of Zoellick’s artwork is commissioned today for the
private collector or corporation. He said he doesn’t necessarily paint
much for himself nowadays, but his dream is to return to the field.
“Someday I would like to paint from life as a full-time endeavor,” he
said, explaining that sitting outside in a natural setting and painting
different than working from a picture.
He used the example of a tree, saying you can learn so much more about
that tree when looking at it in real life versus in a book or a
picture. He said that image clearly remains in his mind for the next
time he needs to draw one.
In 1992, Zoellick decided to expand his horizons and ventured out on
his own as a publisher, establishing Thunder Mountain Press in the
Third Ward in Milwaukee. The company allowed Zoellick to publish
his own prints as well as two other artists, Don Kloetzke and Jerry
Gadamus. Zoellick said the name — Thunder Mountain Press — comes
from an area near his family’s cabin in
Now Zoellick is involved in multiple facets of the art world. Not only
does he create the art piece he also is in charge of having it printed
and distributed to
various galleries in the area.
Not many artists care to be involved in the production of their pieces
to such an extent, but those artists aren’t Scott Zoellick, whose
dedication to nature has
provided hours of enjoyment for the rest of us.
|** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at registrar@AskART.com.|