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 Glenn Scott Kuhnly  (1939 - 2012)

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Lived/Active: California      Known for: Painting-seascape, automobiles, marine

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Scott Kuhnly
An example of work by Glenn Scott Kuhnly
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Obituary. San Diego Union Tribune, 8-11-2012

By Beth Wood

A pillar of the Escondido arts community, Glenn Scott Kuhnly was serious when it came to his painting, but was well known for socializing and joke-telling.  “He was always tongue-in-cheek,” said Robert Garner, who shared studio space with Mr. Kuhnly and was his friend for 35 years.  “Sometimes I had to look away because I would be breaking up.  I knew whether he was telling the truth or putting people on.”

In 1969, Mr. Kuhnly rented a studio in the Arcade on Grand Avenue and later moved to a front studio, which became his permanent gallery.  Primarily a watercolorist, Mr. Kuhnly made a living through selling his art.  His favorite subjects were fishing boats and landscapes.

Mr. Kuhnly died of congestive heart failure on July 27 at Palomar Medical Center in Escondido.  He was 73.

One of his “painting buddies,” surfer/artist Michael Gulewich, said he was a great mentor. “We’d go up to Morro Bay to paint and we’d camp for a week at a time,” Gulewich said. “We also spent a couple of weeks in Taos, painting.  He was a big-time painter, but helped everybody.  He’d joke that he was training his competition.”

In October 2003, the Lake Wohlford home of Mr. Kuhnly and his wife, Patty, was destroyed in the Paradise fire.  After months of living apart, the couple, who were married for more than 40 years at the time of his death, finally settled into a home in Escondido.  Shortly afterward, a minivan crashed into Mr. Kuhnly’s studio.  Wryly assuring a San Diego Union-Tribune reporter that the driver “wasn’t an art critic,” Mr. Kuhnly was relieved that, because he had attended an art show in Coronado the day before, 40 of his paintings were safely stored in his van.  “He never became emotionally down,” Gulewich said, adding that Mr. Kuhnly would playfully hide messages -- sometimes meaningful, other times nonsensical – under the backing of his paintings.

Mr. Kuhnly was born in Long Island, N.Y., on Feb. 12, 1939, and grew up in Huntington Beach.  He attended California State University at Long Beach from 1957 to 1964, earning his bachelor of fine arts and master of fine arts degrees.  Mr. Kuhnly contributed his artwork and time to several charitable organizations and served as a juror in many art shows.  He was a member of the Coronado Art Association, Spanish Village in Balboa Park and the Escondido Art Association.

He would go into the studio in the morning and break for lunch, just like a (regular) job,” said Ralph Wilson, an Arkansas-based artist and collector.  “He was disciplined but very much a free spirit.  His paintings were affordable.  When I think of a working artist, I think of him.”

Lunch was an enjoyable ritual for Mr. Kuhnly.  He usually ate at the Continental Deli across the street, most often with a friend or two.  But he’d always return to the studio to paint.

“Scott captured the essence of open space in California.  He caught the adventure and ease of the sea as well as cars and the back country of San Diego,” said Wendy Wilson, executive director of the Escondido Municipal Gallery.  “Painting was his holy grail and his only profession. He always said he was lucky to spend his life doing what he loved. It was lucky for us, too.”

 Submitted by Gary Stanley, ArtSanDiego

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Scott Kuhnly was born in Long Island, New York in 1939.  He began his studies with artist Millard Sheets at the age of 10, knowing even at that young age he wanted to be an artist.  From 1957 to 1964, Kuhnly majored in Art at California State University at Long Beach where he got his BFA and MFA.

Kuhnly supported his family through sales of his art for over forty years by painting from his studio in Escondido, California.  He was proud to say, "he has never had to have a real job", but got to do what he loves most (painting) daily at his studio.

Kuhnly being an avid surfer in his youth and a vintage car enthusiast produced many seascapes featuring fishing boats, sail boats, and harbor scenes.  He also painted of vintage automobiles in rural settings, as well as many California plein-air landscapes.  Kuhnly chose watercolor and oil for preferred media.

The National Automotive and Truck Museum of the United States (NATMUS) Auburn, Indiana.

Columbia River Maritime Museum, Astoria, Oregon

Coos Art Museum, Coos Bay, Oregon

Kuhnly continued to paint daily and occasionally exhibited at California art shows. In addition, he painted a series of collector's plates featuring his vintage automobiles, as well as producing many large original paintings; he also had a line of signed and numbered prints.

This biography was submitted by Mary Williams and Diana Amsden, Ph.D.

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