Del Gish


Born in rural Oklahoma, the son of two professors, Del Gish received his master of fine arts degree from the University of Idaho after an undergraduate degree in philosophy from Northwest Nazarene University. Gish studied with Russian American master Sergei Bongart and helped organize the well-received Bongart workshops in southern Idaho. He furthered his studies at Art Students League in New York under notable painters David Leffel, Harvey Dinnerstein, Burton Silverman and Nelson Shanks. Gish’s work is in public and private collections, including the Art Students League in New York City, the Seattle Art Museum, the Frye Art Museum, and the SAFECO collection.

In addition to his classic still lifes and landscapes, many of the works in this show are portraits and street scenes from Gish’s travels in Russia, India and Rwanda. “Observing how people live is fascinating,” says Gish, whose travels include two years in Belize via the Peace Corps. Based on intense observation and studio discipline Gish demonstrates a profound respect for a tradition that prescribes painting as a vehicle for self-knowledge, a tool for probing the nature of visual truths. He balances a finely-tuned understanding of aesthetics—color, shape, value, shadow, light, form—with an intuitive ability to unify those same aesthetics into a balanced whole.

"I think that above all else students should be making an effort to paint what they see, to put a lot of effort into just seeing, and to master the fundamentals. Expression can be put off till later. Learning to handle paint, to draw, to render correct value and color relationships is of primary importance for students. A teacher can help with these basic things but one must be completely independent when he makes a personal expression. What a person feels inside himself, what he wants to express, is really none of the teacher's business..."

1936                Born in Oklahoma City, OK
1958                BA Philosophy, Northwest Nazarene University
1965                Stacey Scholarship
1965-67           Student of Sergei Bongart
1968-71           Artist-in-residence and professor at NNU
1969                Signature member of Northwest Watercolor Society
1970                Listed in Who’s Who in the West
1970                Master of Fine Arts, University of Idaho
1975                Signature member of Northwest Watercolor Society
1984-86           Peace Corps Volunteer, Belize, Central America
1988-90           Student/monitor, Art Students League, NYC
1993                Membership in Montana Watercolor Society
1995                Instructor at Tver Art College, Tver, Russia
2003                Trip to India

1965                Today’s Art
1979                Artists of the Rockies and the Golden West
1979-80           Art Students League catalogue
1991                Artist’s Magazine
1993                Southwest Art
1993                Modern Oil Impressionists (North Light Books)
1994                Southwest Art
1994                Portfolio Graphics Inc. (Posters)
1996                Craftsman’s Press
1998                The Best of Portrait Painting (North Light Books)
2000                Artist’s Magazine (May)
2000                International Artist Magazine (August)

1975                Northwest Watercolor Society
1976                Spokane Music and Allied Arts Festival
1977, 91          Puget Sound Area Exhibition
1993                Eastern Washington Watercolor Society
1993                Montana Watercolor Society
2006                Puget Sound Country Exhibition

American Watercolor Society, Frye Art Museum, Artists of America, Great American Artists, National Academy of Design, Anacortes Arts Festival

1962                48th Annual Exhibition of Northwest Artists, Seattle, WA
1963                5th Puget Sound Area Exhibition
1963                9th Annual West Coast Oil Painting Exhibition, Frye Museum
1964-65           Craftsman’s Press Annual
1965                Stacey Scholarship Award
1966                12th Annual West Coast Oil Painting Exhibition, Frye Museum
1968                33rd Annual Art Exhibition, Boise Art Gallery
1974                Craftsman’s Press Annual
1976                36th Annual Northwest Watercolor Exhibition
1979                39th Annual Northwest Watercolor Exhibition
1989                Art Students League
1991                Puget Sound Group of Northwest Painters
1995                Montana Watercolor Society (Gold Merit Award)
1996-98           Spokane Watercolor Society
2000                American Watercolor Society (High Winds Award)
2005                Anacortes Arts Festival (People’s Choice Award & Judge’s Award)
2007                American Watercolor Society (Dresser Memorial Award)