Al Agnew Biography Continued: both not only helps to keep him fresh and enthusiastic, but also allows him more creative freedom."

When I was growing up, my family was very outdoor-oriented," Agnew remembers, "and every week we did something together in the outdoors. It seems like I was hardly ever inside." Agnew attributes much of his success to the lessons he learned from his college watercolor and drawing instructors. Even though he majored in art, Agnew spent the early years of his career as a teacher. But after seven years, burnout set in, and it was time for a change.

"I really wanted to try to make a living as an artist," Agnew said. "While I was teaching, art was my hobby. But after the first few months of devoting myself entirely to painting, my work improved 100 percent. I was finally able to concentrate on it, rather than trying to do it when I was really tired from a day in the classroom."

So with the support of his wife and the enthusiastic approval of his family, Agnew embarked on a great artistic adventure that took him to the heights of the highly competitive world of wildlife art.

Through dedication and a labor of love his work has appeared in a number of publications including Field and Stream, Outdoor Life, Wildlife Art, U.S. Art, Sporting Classics, North American Fisherman and Collectors Editions. The artist has designed eleven state hunting and fishing stamps and has garnered more than 50 Best of Show Awards at some of the nation’s most prestigious art shows. He was Guest Artist at the 1999 Friends of the National Zoo Wildlife Festival, and will be the Featured Artist at this show in September. His work is often featured on covers of Field and Stream and Outdoor Life.

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