Tag Archives: west fraser artist



It’s always nice to hear Thank You.

Thank you Gibbes Museum for sharing this with us. It’s always good to know that funds are being used in the manner in which they were intended. Keep up the great work in arts education! We need you.

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12 Questions with West Fraser: Travel Edition


Travel has long been an important part of an artists growth. Being able to capture different environments and depict them in the same skilled manner in which you paint those environments with which you are familiar allows the artist to stretch their artistic wings, so to speak.  It keeps them from getting stale, formulaic, boring (and bored…) West Fraser has long been an advocate of painting his ‘home country,’ as his two books from USC Press demonstrate, he has mastered his beloved Lowcountry and South Eastern shores. When we asked him if he wanted to do a travel show with paintings from recent visits to Sicily, the Almalfi Coast, and Costa Rica, he said ‘Heck Yes! Let’s do it!’ 


On Friday May 4th Helena Fox Fine Art is proud to present ‘Artist’s Travels: Featuring West Fraser’ a new collection of paintings from Italy and Costa Rica. In preparation for the show Helena Fox Fine Art gave West 12 questions that everyone was just dying to know the answers too. 😉

El Invierno Pasado   Playa Buena Vista, Costa Rica   32 x 40 inches   Oil on linen  2018


  1. When did you begin painting?  I drew and painted some as an adolescnet into my teens, but I started painting and making illustrations full time after college.
  2. What are the three most used pigments on your palette? White, blue and yellow.
  3. What did you want to be when you were a child?  I wanted to travel to capture a world that at the time I believed would transition from what I knew into a crowded place. Part of that was because I was surrounded by rapid development. I tell people I am living the life I envisioned when I was only 13 years old.
  4. What are you reading?  The Lost City of the Monkey Gods by Douglas Preston and On Trails: An Exploration by Robert Moor.
  5. What is your favorite style of music to paint to? 70’s rhythm and blues or Jazz
  6. What is a defining moment, or couple of moments, of your artistic career? First: a published article in Nautical Quarterly in 1984 with an exhibition and representation by The Grand Central Art Galleries in New York City on 57th St.–at the time it was the oldest representational art gallery in NYC. Second: in 2001 a museum exhibition tour and book titled Charleston in My Time. Third: an exhibition at the Telfair Museum in Savannah, Ga.–my birth city–titled A Native Son.
  7. How do you describe your art to others? It’s like, you know, American Impressionism or Naturalistic Impressionism, the kind of art

    Percorso degli Antichi  Sicily

    that you would enjoy looking at…

  8. Name the top five artists–living or dead– by whom you have been influenced the most. N.C. and Andrew Wyeth, F.J. Mulhaupt, J. S. Sargent, Winslow Homer, Joaquim Sorolla, Anders Zorn, and  C.C. Cooper.
  9. What do you look for when out scouting for places to paint? Composition and the play of light or atmosphere, that is what matters, subject is tertiary in importance.
  10. Since this is a travel painting show, if you could go anywhere to paint, where would you go and why? Peru and Chile, because there are still wild places and indigenous culture, and Scotland because I have always wanted to see the land of my ancestors. Anybody want to trade houses?
  11. Do you think traveling to paint different areas is important to your growth as an artist? It is paraount to staying fresh, because I don’t want to be a method painter. New places and shapes, atmosphere etc…keeps me observant and forces creative technique.

    Pizzaria ‘Ntretella  Naples, Italy

  12. What piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out? Work hard and focus on your specialty. For me I made a decision in the beginning to concentrate on coastal regions to find subject matter and inspiration; it really did not limit my scope or travel.



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New Website, New Painting, Getting It Together for the Fall

Join us for a book signing and artist talk on September 22, 2016 at the Charleston Library Society. For more information on the evening, please go to here.

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From Field to Finish

There is a lot of talk about plein aire painting, but what exactly does it mean? Borrowed from the French, to paint ‘en plein aire’ literally translates to ‘open air,’ it refers to painting outside, on location, in all kinds of weather.

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Tour The Confederate Home

Have you ever walked past this door on Broad Street and wondered what lay beyond? On Thursday October 29, 2015 you can come on in look around and have a glass of wine and a nibble of food as well.

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Often people ask how long it takes for West to finish a painting. It’s a fun question, well no, not really. I once heard him answer the question with what was basically a mathmatic word problem. It was something like this: I’ve been painting all my life, so let’s say 50 years plus a few days, maybe a few months, plus a few hours, plus another few days, plus a year or so, plus an hour or so for stretching canvas and maybe a few extra hours for contemplation.

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What Is A Chicken Bog Anyways?

We all know that rice was grown in the lowcountry during the colonial era. There are reminders everywhere of our by-gone rice culture. But have you ever thought about what happened to these fields after they stopped growing rice? Many of them were sold to wealthy northerners for hunting plantations. Evidently the rice fields became a wonderful home for ducks.

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Playa Carrillo

Since marrying Helena, Costa Rica has become a sort of home away from home for West. Recently they joined friends for a little R&R in the ‘vacation oasis located in the tropical paradise of Playa Carrillo, ‘ Las Ventanas del Mar.

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Phillippe Cousteau and the Port Royal Sound Foundation

Protecting the coastal environment in which I live and paint has always been important to me, in particular the unique water system that is the Port Royal Sound–an interesting historical fact, Port Royal Sound is the second oldest surviving French place-name in the United States having been named by Jean Ribault in 1562.

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The Manuscript Is Sent!

The manuscript for my second book has gone to the publisher, the University of South Carolina Press! The book is titled, Painting the Southern Coast: The Art of West Fraser.

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West Fraser

West Fraser

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Represented in Charleston by Helena Fox Fine Art - 106-A Church St, Charleston, SC

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