How Did He Do It?

October 28, 2014 · Collections ·
Welling Class699

Richard Welling with young art students at Constitution Plaza, ca. 1970. The Connecticut Historical Society, Gift of the Richard Welling Family.

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April Showers. Marker wash drawing by Richard Welling, 1972. On view at Central Connecticut State University. The Connecticut Historical Society, Gift of the Richard Welling Family.

Richard Welling loved to draw and he loved to share his enthusiasm for art with others. He taught an adult drawing class at the West Hartford Art League and an adult education program in Farmington. For several years he taught both adult and children’s art classes at the Wadsworth Atheneum. A series of photographs in the Richard Welling collection here at CHS that shows him at Constitution Plaza with a group of young art students probably depicts one of those classes. If anyone remembers studying with him, I’d love to hear about it. Welling’s book, The Technique of Drawing Buildings, published by Watson-Guptill in 1971, was meant to help others to learn to depict architecture just as he did. A second instructional manual, Drawing with Markers, which was published in 1974, enjoyed an enormous success, selling over 19,000 copies. It in, it explained his marker wash technique, which uses water to blend the colors applied with felt-tipped markers.
From 5:30 to 7:00 pm on Thursday, October 30, Cassandra Broadus-Garcia, Associate Professor of Art at Central Connecticut State University, will lead an interactive discussion of Welling’s artistic accomplishments, including a demonstration of marker wash technique, here at CHS. Participants will have a chance to experiment with the technique themselves.

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Highways Converging, Hartford. Marker wash drawing by Richard Welling, 1976. Currently on view at CHS. The Connecticut Historical Society, Gift of the Richard Welling Family.

Examples of some of Welling’s most masterful drawings are on view in the exhibition Through the Eyes of Richard Welling in the CCSU Art Galleries in Mahoney Hall through November 20th. This exhibition complements the CHS exhibition (Re)Building Hartford: A City Captured by Artist Richard Welling, reminding us that Welling’s drawings aren’t simply a unique historical record of the changing face of Hartford during the turbulent 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. They are also wonderful works of art in their own right. While the CCSU show will feature some of Welling’s signature drawings of Hartford—always his favorite subject—it will also include preliminary drawings for The Technique of Drawing Buildings and Drawing with Markers. Come find out how he did it! All of the drawings in both shows are from the Richard Welling Collection here at the Connecticut Historical Society, which was donated to CHS in 2011-2012 by the family of the artist.

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