About Gene Prokop

Schooling:

  • Alberta College of Art, B.F.A
  • University of Alberta, B.Ed.
  • University of Arizona

Workshops:

  • Richard Schmid
  • Dan Gerhartz
  • Robert Johnson
  • Zhoaming Wu
  • Susan Lyons
  • David Leffel
  • Gregg Kreutz

Has had Works shown in:

  • Paris, France
  • San Diego, U.S.A.
  • Ottawa, Canada
  • Edmonton, Canada
  • New York, U.S.A.
  • Carmel, U.S.A.
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina

Following post-secondary schooling, my greatest push in development or inspiration was seeing the works from the Russian Hermitage collection. They inspired me. The skill of the artist's brushstrokes, the bold layers of paint and the well-orchestrated compositions were prolific. Viewing a Repin painting, one could feel the blood run through the figure in the painting, which led me to sit for hours and marvel at the talent of the artist.

For many weeks at a time, I studied many of the Master's paintings in Europe and Scandinavia.

Some of the artists that influenced me when studying their works up close:

From England From Spain From France
-John Waterhouse
-Stanhope Forbes
-Walter Osborne
-Lord Leighton
-Joaquin Sorolla
-Salvador Barbudo
-Mariano Fortuny
-Valequez
-Jules Bastien Le Page
-Leon L'Hettermitte
-William Bouguereau
-Adolphe-Jean Dagnan-Bouveret
From Italy From Scandinavia From Russia
-Giamcomo
-Favretto
-Luigi Nono
-Anders Zorn
-Albert Edelfelt
-Severin Kroyer
-Ilya Repin
-Isaac Levitan
-Nicholai Fechin

I have also studied the works of American Artists - Ridgeway Knight, Alexander Harrison and Thomas Eakins who learned from Gerome and Bastian LePage.

I would study their painting compositions, specifically: movement, colour, edges and thickness of paint. In Europe, I would find books about the artists, mentors, schools they had attended, and the people they painted with. I would analyze their paintings closely to examine how a Bouguereau made you feel; as though the skin breaths or one can feel the mood in the air of a Ridgeway Knight. The Barbizon School, several other schools in Europe, the Junior Art League in New York and the Palette and Chisel Club in Chicago taught the academic techniques. These schools were the most culturally similar to the Masters trends in Europe.

After returning to Edmonton, I felt cheated by some Art Schools disregarding academic techniques. These schools believed that three stripes on a canvas (minimalism), or dead chickens hanging on a wall was cutting edge new art. Many teachers in the area did not take time to learn the academic skill, so valued by the Masters. Many were teaching what they called concept art, or better still "con art".

I knew my job was to teach others the skills and techniques I had acquired, towards classical realism and naturalism.

My own works of art focus on creating mood & drama using romantic brushstrokes of the Old Masters. Feel free to browse www.geneprokop.com to view my works of art for display & purchase.