It didn't take a lot of research to realize that local artist Eric Bransby is a big deal. He's been commissioned by the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center to execute a mural to grace its main hallway, so you can bet he's got credentials.
He also has a pretty amazing lineage. And while what you know is obviously more important than who you know, there's a certain value in acknowledging someone's influences.
Bransby's teachers included four important artists: Boardman Robinson, the FAC's first director, who went by "Mike" among those who knew him. Painter and muralist Thomas Hart Benton, whose advice to Bransby was to get his name in the paper, no matter what. Josef Albers, whom Bransby remembers with, "The Bauhaus people had to intellectualize everything." And Jean Charlot, a close friend of Diego Rivera, and one of the co-founders of the Mexican muralist movement. (Rivera, by the way, is a little less popular today than his wife, Frida Kahlo.)
Bransby's not about name-dropping, though. As you'll see in our package about the FAC's 75th anniversary (starting here), the way to truly honor those trailblazers who've come before is just to work as hard as they did. And when getting into the business of drawing, painting or his greatest focus, capturing the human form, Bransby is the first to admit that he's still learning.
"The figure comes slowly," says the 94-year-old. "Drawing comes slowly."