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 Ernest (Edward) Walters  (1927 - 2004)

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Lived/Active: Maryland/New Jersey / Austria      Known for: landscape and portrait painting, drawing, writing

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Ad Code: 4
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Following is the obituary of the artist from McComas Funeral Home of Abington and Bel Air, Maryland, submitted by Andrew Timleck.

ERNEST EDWARD WALTERS, age 76, of Joppa, an artist and writer whose paintings have been shown in museums, universities and commercial galleries in the U.S. and Europe, died at Lorien Nursing and Rehabilitation Center of Bel Air, MD on February 25, 2004. Born in Elizabethtown, Kentucky on November 11, 1927, he was the son of the late William Paul and Iva Jane Jones Walters.

Mr. Walters attended the University of Louisville and the University of Miami. Following his WW II duty overseas in 1945-46, he attended L'Ecole Napoleon in Paris, France.  He also took education courses at Towson University and creative writing at Johns Hopkins University.

From 1953-1958 he was a painter of landscapes and portraits, and a writer of short stories and poetry. In the late 50's, he established a publishing firm in Louisville, Kentucky called "Erewhon Press" and Embryo Magazine, a literary quarterly.

From 1958-1961, he became a professional trainer of thoroughbred racehorses, racing in Pimlico, Bowie, Laurel and tracks in other eastern states. In 1961, while racing horses at Laurel, he met and married Dorothy Keesecker, a Baltimore County teacher. Mr. Walters taught in the Baltimore Public School System in Patterson Park from 1963 until 1965.

From 1966-67, he and his wife lived in Vienna, Austria where Mr. Walters was devoted fulltime to drawing and painting. He held solo exhibitions in Vienna, Brussels, and Weisbaden. He also published Weiner Schwargweiss, a portfolio of 17 drawings reproduced from selections of works from the Vienna studio.

From the late 1960's until its closure in the 1980's he was represented by IFA Galleries in Washington, D.C. His drawings have been described as "strange, elliptical, like diagrams for buildings or honeycombs or new worlds; simple forms of pure archetypical elements found away from nature and related to mathematical growth system as expressed in the Fibonacci ratio of Ernest Edward Walters-numbers." 

He referred to his work as showing the relationship of color and form to music and mathematics and the development of pure form, the perfect square, wheel and cross.

In the 1970's, Mr. Walters incorporated his published poems into drawings- paintings of watercolors and inks. Gladys Goldstein, Mount Washington artist and instructor said, "Although Ernie was highly intellectual in his art, he never lost his love for the poetry of life and celebrated its beauty in his writing as well as his painting."

In the 1980's, his style changed to a soft brush hatching and according to critic Amy Hauer, they "catch the light in such a way that the slightest movement of the viewer seems to cause the colors to dance and change the focal emphasis." He also served as a volunteer student advisor at the Maryland Institute of Art and worked with John Sparks, the former head of the art department, and Sam Peters, both professors at the institute, to establish the Maryland Printmakers Association. During this time he also became entrepreneur of Daedal Fine Arts Gallery at the Fallston Mall near Bel Air, MD. Due to failing health, he was forced to give up painting and drawing to return to writing. His latest publication was The Beast Within.

A resident of Joppa in Harford County for 32 years, he was an avid reader and particularly enjoyed the opera and symphonic music. Reggie Camphor, co-owner with wife Marilyn of Camphor-Hill Fine Arts Gallary in Mount Vernon said, "Ernie was a genuine friend whose art and writing are rare and wonderful gifts to the world. His art work of remarkable variation and diversity is expressive of a full and rich life. Ernie was dedicated to the fundamentals of abstract art, especially to the abstract qualities of color and form and their relationship to music and mathematics. The world has lost a truly unique soul."

Mr. Walters is survived by his wife of 43 years, Dorothy Keesecker Walters; three daughters, Marcy Walters of Louisville, Kentucky; Kristina Talbot of Vera Beach, Florida; Judy Shiver of Vera Beach, Florida; one brother, Robert Walters of Tennessee; eight grandchildren; Ernest Edward Walters-two great-grandchildren.


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