Born in Pennsylvania, he studied at the Cleveland School of Art, and became an illustrator, painter, author and teacher. Focusing on natural history subjects early in his career, he won a prize in an exhibition of bird art at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History in 1939. Sweney contributed articles and illustrations to national magazines including Sports Afield, Nature, Outdoors and Outdoors Man. He created the artwork for the Minnesota-based Brown & Bigelow publishing company's wildlife calendars for 10 years. By 1956 he was a professor at the Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, Florida and wrote several instructional art books in the years to follow. Techniq
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