1935 (Champaign, Illinois)
Robert 'Shoofly' Shufelt
Often Known For
western scene pencil drawings-cowboys
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|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|Known for pencil drawings of western scenes, Robert "Shoofly" Shufelt
was born in Illinois in 1935, and has called Arizona home since 1976.|
was early on inspired by his high school teacher De Witt
Whistler. He earned a degree from the University of Illinois and
worked for twenty years as an illustrator in Chicago, doing advertising
and television story boards.
In 1976, Shufelt moved to Arizona
with his wife Julie to live on her family ranch in Wickenburg. He
took up cowboy activities and decided that was the subject matter for
his fine art. Though he was urged by galleries and teachers to
paint, Shufelt never gave up drawing as his medium of choice.
glad I found my nitch way back when, and can be counted among the
living. In a nutshell, I hope I'm an unaffected type, except when
experiencing the joy of my accomplishments. I push a simple
medium, attempt to control my values, and am devoted to and respectful
of the cowboys and animals that I draw."
Art-Talk, October 2004
Contemporary Western Artists by Peggy and Harold Samuels, 1982
|Biography from Altermann Galleries & Auctioneers VI:|
|Delineator in pencil of Southwestern cowboy life, Robert "Shoofly"
Shufelt was born in Champaign, Illinois in 1935 and has been living in
Wickenburg, Arizona since 1976. “When you’re an artist,” he says, “you
have plenty of time to think. I have a lot of statements to make
about today’s cowboy. One project I’m enthused about is
portraying the ranch wife. I don’t think many people know much
about that way of life. They’re incredible ladies and most of them can
do just about everything.”|
“Shoofly” grew up in Chicago, spent two years in the Army, and went to
the University of Illinois on a football scholarship. As a fine
arts student, he drew Indian scenes despite his avant garde
professors. He also played semi-pro football, raced sports cars,
and worked as a free-lance illustrator in Chicago for twenty years. “I
wanted to do easel painting, though,” he declares, “so that became
something I started building for. I know I could draw and those
twenty years as an illustrator were good training. Finally it was
time to make the break and we just did it.
In his pencil drawing, “Shoofly” expresses his admiration for the
working cowboy: “The guys are a breed unto themselves. They’re
fiercely independent and really don’t make any money to speak of.
They do it because they love it. You have to. They really go in
style. It’s their story I’m telling and they have given me the
opportunity to lie it with them. I’ve got to record that
life. So much of the good ranch land is being eaten up by
development. As a result it has to change.
“Shoofly” has been featured in Southwest Art, October 1979, and in Artists of the Rockies, Winter 1981.
Contemporary Western Artists, by Peggy and Harold Samuels 1982, Judd’s Inc., Washington, D.C.
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