The very first painting I ever did, meaning the first time my hands put paint to canvas, won an award and garnered me a scholarship to the Minneapolis Institute of Art and Design. I'd been a prolific pencil artist up to that point. I had sketchbooks full of drawings but until my senior year in high school had never been exposed to painting. Needless to say I found my life's calling and the paintings thereafter just flowed off my fingers. It's my one regret in life not taking charge of my life and pursuing that scholarship.
I moved out west to Spokane, Washington a few years after high school and continued to pursue my love of painting nature. I was on my way to building up a career in painting. I was selling paintings here and there and started to get my name out when life happened. You know how life can sometimes become a train wreck and you dangle off the trestle for a bit. It happened and part of the fallout from that was I turned my back on painting as a career for the next 15 years. There is an interconnection between an artists feelings and the canvas and I tried my best to sever that tie. Oh I still painted but it was more as release valve than anything.
While I drifted from job to job searching for myself I went back to school and got a degree in computer networking. The past ten years I worked as a computer network engineer or admin. It was not my calling and despite my love of the Internet and tech related stuff I still heard the little voice whispering with every painting "you are an artist and you can't hide from it."
Fifteen years after destroying my inventory of paintings and throwing away anything that reminded me of who I was I could no longer ignore that nagging voice in my head. I turned 40 and realized after I completed a painting around that time that the clock was ticking. It was time to suck it up and do what I was born to do and that was create colorful wildlife art infused with a lot of heart and soul then share it with the world. You might say that instead of a new girlfriend and a corvette my mid-life crisis was to get a tattoo and follow my heart again. Just a side note here, the kids were ok with the corvette but my wife nixed the girlfriend idea. Go figure.
My work is better now in that I do have those extra years under my belt. I know what I want to say and I hope what I say through my paintings helps you. I tell a story in each painting in hopes that you reflect on your story and make it better moving forward. I use wildlife to tell the story because that's my "happy place". That's where I feel the most creative and where I experience boundless joy. The colors, animals and forms in nature are a visual rock concert to me. I feel the energy when I'm hiking a trail up a mountain through a huckleberry patch in the heart of Grizzly country. I feel the vibrant waves of nature reeling in a 16 inch rainbow and nothing calms my soul more than that first push off of shore in my 18 yr old canoe. That gentle silence envelops my heart like a mothers heartbeat soothes a newborn.
Using acrylic paint, Werle gives voice and personality to many types of fish and feathered friends, bears, elk, deer, and the occasional house pet. “I paint wildlife and nature because of the harmonious combination of tranquil beauty and the calmness that envelops my soul when I’m out there,” he said. Spokesman Review Dec-11-2010
3/1/12 - Honored to be selected as one of the 21 Artists to Watch in 2012 by Skinny Artist.
Featured Artist at Artsy Shark
December 27th, 2010
Exhibitions & Awards
8/1/10 - 10/31/10 - Solo Exhibition: "The Black Series" - Missing Piece Tatto and Gallery
11/1/10 - 11/30/10 - Featured Artist: "The Raw Beauty of Nature" - Gallery of THUM
1/1/11 - 1/31/11 - Solo exhibition: "Birds" - Twisp Cafe
4/1/11 - 4/30/11 - Solo Exhibition: "Wine and Music" - Nodland Cellars
4/1/11 - Current - Multi Artist installation: "Art Extravaganza" - Ramada Ocean Shores
6/1/11 - 6/1/11 - Dual Artist Exhibition: Mirabeau Park Hotel & Convention Center
7/1/11 - 7/1/11 - Solo Exhibition: First Friday - Artwalk - Spokane Visitor Center
8/1/11 - 8/31/11 - Solo Exhibition: "Wine, Women, and Song" - Nectar Tasting Room
9/1/11 - 9/30/11 - Featured Artist: "The Color of Nature" - Gallery of THUM
11/1/11 - 12/1/11 - Solo Exhibition: "Release" - Nodland Cellars
3/2/12 - 3/31/12 - Solo Exhibition: "Legends of Jazz" - Nodland Cellars
4/2011 - Finalist in the Inland Northwest Artist Competition - "The Haunted"
Do have a question? Phone: 509-714-9932 or Email: werle3 AT billwerlefineart.com or you can send us an email via the Contact The Artist link.