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Timothy David Mayhew

About Timothy David Mayhew

Timothy David Mayhew is an award winning artist from the four corners area of New Mexico, located at the borders of Arizona, Colorado, and Utah giving him a uniquely varied environment to work in.
Mayhew's artwork has been acquired by several prestigious museums including the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, the Art Institute of Chicago, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Harvard University Art Museums, the National Museum of Wildlife Art, and the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum. He regularly receives awards and honors for his artwork including the prestigious Red Smith Award for Best in Show from the National Museum of Wildlife Art’s Western Visions exhibition in 2015. The National Museum of Wildlife Art’s Trustees’ Purchase Award in 2014,
the Artistic Excellence Award from Southwest Art in 2011, and the Robert Kuhn Award from the National Museum of Wildlife Art in 2010.

Mayhew and his artwork have been featured in several fine art journals including Western Art and Architecture, the Gray’s Sporting Journal, Fine Art Connoisseur, and Southwest Art.
Mayhew’s notable exhibitions include the Western Visions exhibition at the National Museum of Wildlife Art, the international Birds in Art exhibition at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, the Cheyenne Frontier Days Western Art Show, the Thomas Gilcrease Museum, Trailside Galleries’ Masters in Miniature Invitational Show, the Hilton Head Fine Art Auction, the American Art Invitational, the Evansville Museum of Art, the Settlers West Miniature Exhibition, and the Art of the Animal Kingdom. Mayhew has been listed in Who’s Who in American Art since 2006, and he was inducted as a signature member of the National Academy of Professional Plein Air Painters in 2007. His undergraduate studies were done at the University of Michigan and he received a doctorate in 1978 from Wayne State University. To expand on his formal education, Mayhew studied with some of the finest living masters of art. For several years he studied with the renowned animal painter, Bob Kuhn, to learn how to depict animals in their natural environment and he studied landscape painting en plein air from Clyde Aspevig and Matt Smith.

Click on the images below to view Timothy David Mayhew's artwork available for sale at this year's show.

Artist Statement

On Ice
Every year thousands of snow geese migrate from their summer breeding grounds in northern Alaska and Canada to winter along the Rio Grande Valley in my home state of New Mexico. During my trip to study them this past winter the nighttime temperatures had dropped to well below freezing. I arrived before sunrise to study the geese in the pre-dawn glow and encountered thousands of snow geese sleeping on the ice that had formed during the night. Their bills were buried in the warm downy feathers along their back and their legs and feet were raised up off the ice and tucked under the down on each side of their bellies.

As the pre-dawn glow illuminated the Magdalena Mountains to the west they reflected a warm reddish hue onto the ice. The geese continued to sleep but would occasionally open their eyes and lower their feet to the ice in anticipation of sunrise. As if by some secret signal, shortly after sunrise all of the snow geese vaulted into the air creating thunderous sounds with their wings and the cacophony of their vocalizations. I had witnessed this event before and it was always inspiring, but this time I was closer to the geese and their chosen route was directly toward me. I was quickly surrounded by thousands of snow geese flying around and above me encapsulating me in a mesmerizing display of sound and flight that went on for what felt like an eternity.

Three head studies of a male wild turkey
Wild turkeys are abundant along the San Juan River valley near my home and studio in Northwest New Mexico. They have become accustomed to living close to the population so they do not shy away when I am quietly sketching their unique and interesting behavior.
This study was made in natural red chalk, which was first used for drawing in the mid-1400s by old master artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael and many more. Natural red chalk is fully-formed in nature needing only to be sawn into pencil shapes for drawing. Sadly it was lost to use in the 1800s being replaced by man-made fabricated chalks, which unfortunately lack the optical and working properties of the natural chalks.
I have spent more than 40 years researching the traditional drawing materials of the old master artists, studying their geological formation, and eventually locating some for my use.
I have been invited to lecture on this topic at the Smithsonian’s National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, the Chicago Art Institute, and at Harvard University. My research on natural red chalk entitled, Natural red chalk in traditional old master drawings, was published in 2014 by the Journal of the American Institute for Conservation.

Past Artwork


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What People Are Saying

We went here because one of our kids wasn't feeling too well so we looked for options that were softer than trekking (summers) , and we absolutely loved it . The art work is fascinating and beautiful and varied ...a must visit - esp if its a rainy day :)

- amazingnivs, Mumbai

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