With an impressive body of work, Perry Winkler has left his mark on the local community, as well as in Central Pennsylvania where he currently resides. Winkler, a former resident of Asheville, began his education at the Jefferson County Vocational Technical School in Reynoldsville, Pennsylvania where he had the great fortune to study under noted artist, Patsy Dunmire. Winkler graduated in 1976 after receiving the Outstanding Student Artist Award. He later moved to Asheville where he resided from 1978 through 1990.
Winklers’ works have earned him numerous awards including his first national first place award in 1979 while working as a commercial artist for Naegele Outdoor Advertising in Asheville, North Carolina, for his public service billboard entitled “Iran, Let our people go!”
In 2007 Perry’s painting entitled “My Favorite Corner” drew national attention when it was selected as the number one painting out of over 3,500 entries in the Kirkland’s Home Stores “Next Great American Artist Competition”. As part of his award, Perry’s painting was reproduced and marketed in 370 Kirkland’s Home stores throughout the United States.
In 2007 Perry was awarded “Best in Show”, second place, and honorable mentions at the annual Laurel Arts competition in Brookville, PA. This was Perry’s second consecutive “Best in Show” award following the Laurel Arts 2006 winning painting entitled “To the Core”. Perry’s more recent awards include the 2011 Susquehanna River Arts Competition “Best in Show” award for “Crossing Wonderland”. This marks Winkler’s 18th Best in Show award over his thirty five year career as a professional artist. Perry’s artwork has been used for numerous fundraisers including Preservation Pennsylvania. His work has also been featured on candy boxes for Nereus Chocolate Corporation, and on wine bottles for Starr Hill Winery in Curwensville ,PA. Winklers’ painting entitled “Life Source” is currently being marketed as part of a fund raising event for the Western Pennsylvania Habitat Unlimited organization, a non-profit organization focused on the preservation of nature and wildlife, a cause dear to Winklers’ heart.
For the past several years, Perry has been teaching watercolor technique at the DuBois Area School District and the DuBois Area Business College with their artist in residence programs. Perry also offers workshops and on-going classes at his DuBois studio located at the Winkler Gallery of Fine Art in downtown, DuBois, PA. Along with his regular courses, Perry has made it a priority to offer art classes for The COVE, a non-profit organization dedicated to enrichment and support for individuals with developmental disabilities living in Central Pennsylvania.
All credits aside, Winkler insists that it’s all about the art. “It stands to reason that if you love what you do, and you work at it, you’ll do it well. I am grateful in knowing that people derive pleasure from what I do. It can’t be about money or notoriety. It really has to be about communicating ideas.”
As founder of the Winkler Gallery of Fine Art, Perry continues to dedicate much of his time as the gallery manager. Currently the Winkler Gallery represents 16 of the regions most successful artists
I have always viewed my painting as a language, a form of communication that speaks of my love for all of the beautiful things that surround me both visually as well as emotionally. My work is a chronological and visual diary of my life. I have always been sensitive to my surroundings and am often moved emotionally by the aesthetic mood of a time or place. The way sunlight and shadows will lay upon a surface, how colors and subtle hues can evoke feeling and emotion, and the idea that people from all walks of life, universally, can be transported to a place in my mind, are all parts of what inspires me to paint. Both nature and civilization provide subjects that are visually stimulating and are often complimented by each others presence. My art work is painted with the intent of focusing on the subtle details and differences that are characteristic to each individual part of my subject, not necessarily in a tedious manner, but with a more fluid and nature influenced approach. Though I am well versed in oil and acrylic painting, watercolor has always been my medium of choice. I find it a part of my personal nature that I perform well under pressure. Some of the pressures that watercolor painting
provides come in the form of time constraints when applying washes. While painting in watercolors, countless decisions are being made on color intensity and hues, on composition and details, or lack there of, and all within minutes. Watercolor painting offers me the best balance between spontaneity and control and allows my inner voice to direct me. My visions concerning my subject and what I’m trying to say with my work are pure and genuine. Painting unabashedly allows my interpretation to remain true.
My work is usually infused with a story that can be interpreted in many ways. I often times will be inspired to express my inner feelings with a metaphoric approach, rather than a literal one. The feeling of a personal loss may be expressed by lazy pears toppled on a surface of long evening shadows. Such subjects are best achieved with this medium for as light reflects off of watercolor paper it is also reflecting through layers of pigment that lay on the papers surface, a dynamic that can enhance a painting’s sense of illumination or light. The textured surface of paper lends itself to countless options when attempting to describe a subject, or even a mood. The idea of a brush loaded with paint or ink
staining something as pristine and organic as a white sheet of paper excites me as much today as it did when I was a child. As a young artist, I was driven to the literal. What I was achieving were perfect renderings of things I held dear. It is only through over thirty-five years of experience, dedication and perseverance, that I have been able to gain the skills and confidence to be both creative and assertive
during the painting process. Though my earlier work remains relevant, I feel that it now expresses deeper meaning as life continues to provide me with countless things to say.
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