Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeff Trexler.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
Art has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My love for History however happened around the age of 14. I remember having an amazing history teacher who opened my eyes to the civil war and also made learning fun. Something about this period in time stuck with me. I remember around this time my father renting the movie Gettysburg. I watched it over and over and found a new passion in my life. The first modern military artist I came across was Mort Kunstler. I found his Gettysburg book in a local library and was blown away that his scenes matched the movie I had just watched. From then on, I knew what I wanted to do with my life. In high school I took as many art classes as possible and always placed in the shows at the end of the year. My senior year we had the final show and my exhibit was completely civil war related. I had the audience enter a tent to see the works inside. It was an amazing experience and the feedback was fantastic.
As I got older I discovered the works of Don Troiani. Don’s work amazed me and I wanted to study it and follow in his footsteps, so much that I attended the same college as he did The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. I even had a few of the same teachers. Once out of college I explored galleries, shows etc. with my work. I started reenacting and built a great relationship with different groups in the hobby. I use a lot of these men and women as models to this day. I had a dream of becoming one of the greatest Historical Artists when I was 14 and ever since then I’ve been pursuing that goal one step at a time. There’s nothing else I’d rather do then tell their stories through my artwork.
Please tell us about your art.
My love really lies in the 18th and 19th Century. A lot of my work is based in this timeline and I feel like this is where my best work shows up. I work mostly in Oils and Gouache paint right now and the paintings I create can vary greatly. I’ve done large scale battles scenes in oil and also smaller soldier studies which are mostly Gouache. I have so many paintings I want to do in my head it’s just a matter of time and getting them onto the canvas. I also love working on commissioned pieces. I do both private and corporate commission. I’ve done works for Brier Creek, Kettle Creek, New Bridge Landing, Chambersburg just to name a few. The private works I do for clients are also very special to me. There’s no greater feeling then doing a piece for someone and seeing how they react to it. I love seeing the work hang in their homes, it’s very special.
My work tells a story. It’s my way of preserving the amazing history of these men and women. When someone looks at my paintings I want them to feel something, yes, the details are important weapons, uniforms etc. but emotion is what I try to convey. If they look at a piece and feel something then I’ve done my job. When I’m in the studio I get a chance to escape into that world. I get to find myself and lose myself at the same time.
As an artist, how do you define success and what quality or characteristic do you feel is essential to success as an artist?
Success is different for everyone and every artist I would imagine. A lot of people say money is Success but I don’t believe in that. Success for me is to do what I love and be excited about the work I’m putting out there. Success is doing a commission for someone and making that as special as I can for them. When they tell me, they tear up looking at a work I’ve done for them, then there’s no better reward.
As an artist we are never really happy with the work we put out haha and we are always striving to get better. I think that’s important so we work harder on the next one, always improving the paintings. Trying to get faster and keep the same quality of work is the goal. If one day many years from now someone mentions my name along with some of the greats like Troiani, Rocco etc. then I have been successful in my journey.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
My work can be seen throughout the country in various homes, buildings, parks etc., but we also have a strong Facebook following and now Instagram as well. We have a website www.trexlerhistoricalart.com where I show my latest prints and original works for sale. I am also available to do commission work and if anyone is interested please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Website: www.trexlerhistoricalart.com
- Phone: 484-477-7701
- Email: email@example.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jefftrexler.historicalart/
Copyright Trexler Historical Art.