Rex Brandt (1914-2000)


A gifted watercolorist, Rex Brandt hailed from San Diego, California. A year before graduation from UC Berkley in 1936, his influential work was recognized by the publishers of Who's Who and the International Index of Artists. Brandt was part of a regional group of like-minded artists enchanted with the unique light, color and landscape of southern California. Together in 1937 they formed a traveling group exhibition called "The California Group." The group introduced America to the exuberance, color and creativity of this new rogue band of western watercolor painters. Among Brandt's friends in this "en plein air" group of California painters were Milford Zornes, Phil Dike, and Millard Sheets. By 1937 Fortune magazine had featured a portfolio of his work and his paintings were among those displayed at the 1939 New York World's Fair "American Art Today" art exhibition. His influential fellow painter Phil Dike, who worked for the Walt Disney Company, partnered with Brandt in 1947 to form the Brandt-Dike Summer School of Painting. By 1949 Brandt had published his first book "Watercolor with Rex Brandt." He authored many popular watercolor painting and art books including Watercolor in 15 Easy Lessons (1950), The Composition of Landscape Painting (1959), Watercolor Landscape (1963), The Artists Sketchbook and Its Many Uses (1966), San Diego, Land of the Sundown Sea (1969), Winning Ways of Watercolor (1973), and Seeing with a Painter's Eye (1984) Rex Brandt was an avid teacher his entire life, his Brandt Painting Workshops started in 1955 and he continued to teach and lead workshops through 1985. — Watercolor Masters: Rex Brandt © 2010 Greg Conley

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by Greg Conley

September 8th, 2015