Clark Sheppard, who signs his artwork McShep, was repeatedly exposed to art at a young age, but only became active as an artist in 1989. His father was a free-lance commercial artist working out of his home and Clark was intrigued watching his father work. This was when the seed was planted!
Clark’s initial exposure to painting began simply enough through an “adult evening education course” at the local high school. Watercolor sounded challenging, but straightforward, so Clark’s earliest paintings emerged through this medium.
He showed his first work to a good friend, Gordon Haas, who is an accomplished artist with his own Gallery in Lambertville, NJ. Gordon was very positive, telling him he perceived the beginnings of some real talent and encouraged him to pursue his art. Gordon then became Clark’s mentor and what started as dabbling, fast grew into a passion.
Clark first focused on the work of “Thomas McNight” because he liked his bold and vivid use of colors. Studying the work of this and other artists gave Clark a handle on the medium, while allowing him to develop his own style. Because “McNight” had such a large influence on the evolution of Clark’s style, with a long-time nickname of Shep, Clark decided that “McShep” was an appropriate way to sign his artwork.
Clark calls himself a whimsical expressionist. So…expect surprise from his inner child, as that is where his art comes from. The “whimsical” feel of his work is greatly enhanced by the fact that he is living his dream in Sedona, Arizona – a truly magical place. The unique and magical Beauty of Sedona continually opens him to expand his conscious awareness of and appreciation for the profound impact nature can have on us when we truly pay attention to this wonderful planet we call Earth. Clark’s intention is to offer his rendition of this magical Beauty, that we may bring that magic into our every-day lives – in our homes and places of work. To view Clark’s art is to experience his passion for exploring dramatic southwest landscapes and the natural beauty they form.
His love for the southwest was ignited, one winter on a ski vacation in Jackson Hole, WY, when he rolled a snowmobile and broke his hand. In order to pass time, he spent his days walking around Jackson and stopping at art galleries. When he came upon a copy of SouthwestArt magazine, Clark was inexplicably, deeply inspired by the way southwest imagery spoke to him. Arriving home, he immediately felt called to begin painting southwest images. Up until then, having grown up on the east coast, he had been painting sea shores and seagulls. This inspired calling is what ultimately brought him to Sedona to immerse himself in southwest landscapes, with unlimited material for ongoing inspiration.
Clark’s art work has been seen in SouthwestArt Magazine, Cowboys and Indians, American Cowboy, Texas Monthly, and True West magazines. His original watercolor of “Goulding’s Stagecoach” hangs in the “Stagecoach” restaurant at Gouldings Lodge in Monument Valley, AZ
Visit his website http://www.mcshep.com, where he also offers very cool personalized art.
Whimsical expressionist Southwest Oil’s
(click or tap any thumbnail to enlarge)