Morgan Weistling Biography Continued:

One such customer was a famous movie poster artist. As a result of their chance encounter, at the age of 19, Weistling went from earning the minimum wage to begin a notable career as an illustrator. He became well-known in the film industry for his illustrations whose amazing celebrity likenesses promoted the movies and merchandise for Anastasia, The Santa Clause, Last Action Hero, The Lost World and countless action thrillers. The list of movie stars whose features Weistling has flawlessly captured reads like a stroll down the star-studded sidewalks of Hollywood Boulevard. His clients have included Universal/Amblin Entertainment, Disney, MGM, Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Warner Brothers, Columbia Pictures and TriStar.

But his newfound career was not all glamour; often he was required to work as long as 48 hours at a time. His famous subjects would review his drawings, faxing their comments back to him via their agents. Weistling would rework his paintings accordingly, ever mindful not to paint one movie star larger than another who shared equal billing.

A stickler for authenticity, he often used his extensive prop collection to create setups that sometimes took longer to complete than the actual paintings. To get realistic-looking reference photos for one movie poster, he rented a helicopter to hover above him while he snapped action shots.

In addition to movie posters, Weistling has designed inspirational, nostalgic and science fiction collector plate series as well as artwork for Sega pinball machines. He also created all the cover artwork for the video series, McGee and Me, for Focus on the Family, and his art can be seen on numerous magazine, book, CD and video covers. The winner of many awards from the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles, he has taught at the Associates in Art.

Weistling, his artist wife and their daughter make their home in California. When he turned his considerable talents to fine gallery art, he found himself unable to keep up with collector demand for his originals. His amazingly realistic paintings and religious subjects make the viewer feel like an eyewitness to the unfolding scene due, in part, to his experience in the film industry. In all of his vibrant work, there is clarity, focus and purpose because Weistling thinks like a skilled cinematographer, envisioning himself as part of the scene that he is painting. He then visualizes how it would look on the movie screen. With his masterful use of oils, he makes the transition from his imagination to the canvas, bringing the scene to life with spectacular lighting to fully engage the viewer’s imagination and emotions.

Having embarked upon so successful a career at such a young age, there is one artist to whom Weistling remains forever indebted. Weistling’s parents met in art school, where his father was studying under the G.I. Bill. When his parents married, his father gave up his own dreams of a career in art and started a gardening business to support his family. But every night, father and son shared a little ritual that began when Morgan Weistling was just nineteen months old.

The two would draw together, a special time to which they both looked forward as the father fostered in his son a love for art. In the years that followed, he also gave his son his collection of art books. Today, Morgan Weistling’s career is the fulfillment of a father’s dreams.

Recent honors and awards include the Trustees Purchase Award at The Autry Museum of Western Heritage in Los Angeles, CA, the Prix de West Purchase Award at The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, OK, and the Patron's Choice Award at The Autry Museum of Western Heritage. Weistling's book, The Image of Christ, was a finalist for the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association Gold Medallion Book Award.

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