Darrell Sheppard Paintings
Exhibited October 2017

             Darrell Sheppard has dabbled with painting over the years, exploring subject matter “such as animals, cowboys, and bad portraits of my grandkids, until my wife said, ‘Just pick one thing and try to get good at it.” Fortuitously, about the time he retired nine years ago, Sheppard was reacquainted with Bud Heiss, renowned acrylic painter of southwestern landscapes. “Bud Heiss showed me that acrylic paint could express the natural beauty of the Southwest as well as oil.”
Sheppard was the featured artist at Boyce Thompson Arboretum for October, with new works in the Visitor Center art gallery.

             Heiss, frequent exhibitor at Boyce Thompson, is an award-winning painter with numerous credits, who is represented in galleries across the West. Sheppard has been his student now for 4 years. “He’s been a teacher and mentor,” said Sheppard of Heiss, “but he’s also a friend.”

             “I’ve lived in Arizona since 1971,” says Sheppard. “Before that, I lived in Wisconsin, Montana, Connecticut, New York and West Virginia. They’re all special. But this place offers stunning natural landscape - the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.”

“One theory of painting landscape is that, to truly understand it, you have to get out and walk around in it. That works for me. I’ve been stumbling around in Central Arizona for almost a half century now. I love how hard it is. I’ve fallen down on Spanish dagger and cholla, and I’ve clambered up more than a few of our angry mountains. I’m no stranger to sunstroke. And I still haven’t seen it all.

              Most of my paintings juxtapose soft against hard texture: soft thunderheads building above jagged mountains. I love vistas. I try to capture a moment of light. The times that appeal most to me are early morning and evening, as the desert light changes and the contrasts are most stark. I like to paint shadow against strong sunlight – our clear, perfect, clean light – at any time of day, really – that deserves homage.”
             “I’ve had some nice people say of my paintings that they look like photos. I know they mean that as a compliment. But I don’t want to paint photographically…I’m trying to make a competent impression of a particular place – at a special time – with the light that lighted it right then. And it makes me feel very good if other people can relate to that moment and time and light. I understand if some people don’t love the desert, but I’m not painting for them.”
             Sheppard lives in Mesa with Jenny, his wife of 45 years. “We’re desert rats now, for sure. We raised our family here, and our kids both teach in the East Valley. Our four grandkids all live close – handy for hugs!” Sheppard’s work hangs in the offices and reception area of Mesa Auto Works, his son-in-law’s business in East Mesa. All his work can be visited at http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/darrellsheppard.html. Contact Darrell for sales or commissions at sheppar@cox.net or call (480) 641-8797. During October, his art can be seen in the visitor’s gallery daily from 8:00am – 5:00PM during Arboretum daily business hours. Arboretum non-members pay daily admission of $10 for adults and $5 for ages 5-12.
            “I prefer dirt road over pavement, wood and ocotillo fencing over barbed wire, adobe over cinderblock. I don’t usually put critters or people or buildings in my paintings. I appreciate that this place is just briefly hosting human beings.”

Review exhibits 2015 through 2017

Jill Cockrum September 2017

Roger Degler July - August 2017


Sarah Slocum And Bill Brooks - June 2017

Paul Gill - May 2017

Mary Isham - April 2017

Preston Cox - March 2017

The Ateliers Group

Darrell Sheppard

Burdell Moody

Tony DeNunzio


Sue Cullumber

Bud Heiss


Miriam Mladinov

Anthem Camera Club

Nancy Romanovsky

Julie Stubbs

John Aho

Heather Coen

Rimgaudas Vidziunas

Michael Madsen & Heidi Golden Hearts-Rock Photos

Elaine Dube

Becky Joy

Christine Debrosky

Then And Now BTA Photography

Paul Landau

Preston Cox & Tammy Knight

Legumes of Arizona

Paul Kinslow
Rick Cameron



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