Rural Missouri - October 2011 - (Page 20)
Louisiana, Mo., artist John Stoeckley’s pen-and-ink drawings run the gamut from obscure old barns, such as the one which advertises Meramec Caverns pictured above, to famous historic sites such as St. Joseph’s Pony Express stables shown below.
here was a time when Louisiana, Mo., artist John Stoeckley thought about giving up on his dream and returning to the corporate world where he once
by Jim McCarty email@example.com
photo by Jim McCarty
Early in his career as an artist, John worked exclusively in black and white. Later he began to add color to his drawings, due to popular request.
earned his living. A college art major who switched to business to avoid taking a foreign language, John dusted off the plan he once wrote on how to operate an art business. That plan called for him to create silkscreen art and then market it at huge national wholesale art shows. The plan wasn’t working. “I went through a ton of money,” says the Cuivre River Electric Co-op member. “My life savings. At the end of the ﬁrst year, Christmas was a free puppy from the pound. A Dilly Bar from Dairy Queen was a real treat.” Then something happened that turned things around for John. While in Hannibal getting his wife’s car repaired, John had some time on his hands. He took out his sketch pad and made a pen-and-ink drawing of the historic Mark Twain boyhood home. “Henry Sweets, who is curator of the museum, noticed me drawing,” John recalls. “Our discussion turned into a collaboration where we published that drawing. I started marketing that drawing, and they still have it in their gift shop today.” Encouraged by the success of that sketch, John ﬁgured if it worked for one historic site, it would work for others. He began applying his penand-ink style to other Missouri attractions, drawing the Gateway Arch and Old Courthouse in St. Louis, Jesse Hall at the University of Missouri in Columbia and Country Club Plaza in Kansas City to name a few.
Artist John Stoeckley reﬂects on 2 of drawing Missouri’s historic s
“I did old mills, bridges, the colple would come to me with their copy leges, courthouses, baseball stadiums, of the Hodgson water mill drawing landmarks from all over the state. I’ve and say, ‘Would you hand paint this done commissions of buildings. A lot for me?’ or ‘Would you paint the ﬂowof these turned into fundraisers for ers in the window boxes of the Mark churches, schools and Twain home.’ They wanted green other causes.” grass on the ﬁeld at Busch StaIn the 20 years he’s dium. Things like that.” been a professional artBowing to popular Louisiana • ist, John has created more demand, John began paintthan 400 works. This body of ing portions of his work, work has now been turned while keeping the style into a new book called the same as his earlier “Reﬂections of Missouri.” pieces. “If you look (See sidebar.) at my early drawings “John Stoeckley’s appreand at what I do today, ciation for Missouri has helped both there’s been growth. But that high residents and visitors see more clearly attention to detail, the accuracy, is the transcendent beauty of nature and still there.” the works of mankind throughout the He starts with a pen-and-ink drawstate,” wrote sculptor Harry Weber in ing, then adds watercolors later. He a tribute for John’s new book. “John’s says the color work goes much faster work is from the heart, and his heart than the initial drawing. Another is close to Missouri and its beauties.” trademark is his use of yellow. John Over time, John has created a style goes through more tubes of Naples that is instantly recognizable. His Yellow paint than any other color. wife, Karen, calls him a “frustrated While most of John’s work has sold bricklayer” because of the extreme well, a few pieces have done excepdetail he puts into each piece. Many tionally well. One is a drawing of the of his works include almost as many Showboat Branson Belle, which John bricks and boards as the original. drew before the boat was built. Prints “They do take a long time,” John of this work are given to guests when admits. “It’s not uncommon for a the boat is unable to cruise. drawing to take 20 to 25 hours.” “I’ve lost track of how many of For many years, John worked those they have purchased,” John exclusively in black and white. “Peosays. “It’s well into the double-digit
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - October 2011
Rural Missouri - October 2011
Table of Contents
Dining on the tracks
Staying on target
Out of the Way Eats
Hearth and Home
On the brink
Rural Missouri - October 2011