BRUSH MASTER — Don Alan Bishop is pictured in his California studio in 2012. His brother, who lives in DeLand, is wondering what happened to a painting by Don that once hung in the DeLand High School cafeteria. PHOTOS COURTESY PAUL DUDLEY BISHOP

BY PAUL DUDLEY BISHOP

Ever since I was a child, there were paintings in our family: a solitary dark oil painting in my grandfather’s farmhouse; a bright-red watercolor painted by my mother of our Southern home; and the first exhibited painting by my soon-to-be-professional-artist brother that hung in the DeLand High School cafeteria.

Paul Dudley Bishop

All of them have escaped from my view. My grandfather’s oil painting deteriorated and was put in a closet, where it deteriorated more. My mother’s painting of Red House was accidentally left behind when I moved from Florida to North Carolina.

My brother’s first big acrylic? Well, who knows? Maybe something similar, discarded by younger generations or simply allowed to slip away unnoticed.

Every painting has a life, and even though some may slip away unnoticed, the essence of every painting is a story. That painting by my brother that hung in the DeLand High School cafeteria in 1967 depicted football players and, like all my brother’s paintings, was executed with acrylics.

I do not know the reason he chose acrylics, but he always did and still does today. I believe he might say, “They are best for the immediacy of my inspirations.” Of course, they are much faster than oils.

His painting of The Football Players: I have no clue, nor does he, as to why he chose the subject. Neither of us had any interest in the sport. Perhaps they were just a handy subject at school or interesting because of color and form.

My brother, a lifetime painter since high school, is what I call a master with the paintbrush. He has always been self-directed and determined.

Someone somewhere may be enjoying The Football Players in their family home.

A prolific artist never knows where they all end up. But somewhere that painting might still be telling a story.

— Paul Dudley Bishop of DeLand is an artist who often chooses wild birds as his subjects. Like his brother, he is a DeLand High School graduate. Paul Bishop studied wildlife ecology at the University of Florida and pursued printmaking as a career. Paul’s brother Don Alan Bishop is a California painter who took art from Bill Sharpe at DeLand High School in the late 1960s.

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