Upon first glance at an Austin painting, you might wonder if you’re
looking at a protégé of the American artists Thomas Hart
Benton and Grant Wood. "Not so," says Austin who insists that
the influence is not conscious on his part. Nevertheless, he is drawn
to the same subjects of the simple symbols of American life and has developed
his own distinctive artistic style. Obviously skilled beyond his years,
Austin attended Utah State University, but left Columbus College of Art
and Design after being instructed to change a painting by an illustration
teacher. The work of art, without the change, went on to win an award
at the Society of Illustrators’ Student Show and Austin went on
to pursue a commercial art career.
Starting with local companies and Utah organizations, his work soon
came to the attention of national advertising agencies and book companies.
Primary Press was so impressed with his ability that it gave him complete
freedom in illustrating a book called The First Vision. Austin’s
paintings for that work won a Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators,
which brought him to the attention of The Greenwich Workshop.
Print Shown: The Storm