Artist of the moment…. Samuel Hyde Harris….



this artist was successful at a very early age as a commercial artist making billboards and lettering signs. He was born in 1889  and at the old age of 14 the artist was able to get a high letter of recommendation from his company. The company stated he has given every satisfaction during the 8 or 9 months he has been working for the Art Department!

The artist was a master at a young age at things modern artists use computer programmers to do. Make business and advertisement posters.  Make hand lettered greeting cards. The artist was able to gain vast experience since he was a working professional as a  young teen, in 1914 he was able to open his own commercial art studio. In 1920 that studio got a big boost as he was hired to do advertisements for the railroad companies.

I think its nice for all artists to get some experience in the commercial field rather than just go straight to fine art painting full time. Its nice to have many different sources of revenue coming in that way if one slows down, you can still keep up your standard of living. For instance maybe give a workshop or a teach at an art students league. Sell individual art that you make, but also have some licensing agreements coming in. Even in tough economic times people will shell out $20 to $50 for a poster, or maybe have your designs on a table cloth or placemat. Or design some greeting cards for a licensing agreement. You may have to learn how to use photoshop, but it will be worth it in the long run.

In 1906 he began studying painting with Hanson Puthuff. In 1920 he began showing his work in various California art clubs.

He was widely known for his jovial and happy personality. He was also easy to pick out of a crowd as he was 6 foot 3 and had a cigar hanging from his mouth most of the time. The artist loved to paint the outdoors and landscape of California plein aire.

The artist died in 1977. This artist is truly an inspiration as he was a successful commercial artist and fine artist.  Great fine art painters many times didn’t get to just paint full time from the beginning, many started in commercial art gaining design experience. Two artists I can name off are Howard Terpning and Steve Huston. Both artists worked in movie poster design for many years before finding their niche in the fine art world.

This artist was diverse and worked in so many aspects of art the biggest lesson he teaches us is to always grow as artist, and get outside and paint some landscapes!

Happy painting!


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