Chief War Eagle
Size: 22″ x 18″, Framed: 29″ x 25″
Reynold Brown was born in 1917 in Los Angeles as William Reynold Brown to William Reynold Brown (a railroad engineer) and his wife Ada (Fairley) Brown. He drew continuously as a child. He particularly liked telling stories by drawing, comic book style, for the neighborhood children while sitting on a sidewalk curb or a porch stairway.
He got a well rounded art education in Alhambra High School in California under the stewardship of a World War I veteran and artist, Lester Bonar. His skills won him a scholarship to attend art school after graduation but due to the death of his father he had to begin working to care for his mother and two younger sisters.
During high school, Brown came to admire the great illustrators of the age, such as J.C. Leyendecker, Dean Cornwell, N.C. Wyeth and especially Norman Rockwell. Rockwell’s sister taught at Brown’s high school. Through Bonar, Brown was able to meet Norman Rockwell. Rockwell advised Brown that if he wanted to learn illustration he would have to leave the comic strip and start finding jobs as an illustrator. Brown left, to the dismay of Forrest.
In the early seventies, Brown decided to take part in the developing market for fine art paintings on a western theme. Brown had always liked painting the west as a subject in his illustrations. He set aside illustration work, including poster art and concentrated on western paintings for the fine arts market. Brown’s skills well developed through his many years of illustrating, made his work popular and he sold about 250 oil paintings. These covered not only the west; they included portraits, harbor scenes and landscapes. He also sold work in charcoal, pencil, pastel and watercolor.
Brown suffered a severe stroke in 1976. His left side was completely paralyzed. With the help of Mary Louise, he was able to retrain himself. Although unable to do the detailed and highly representational work of his pre-stroke years, he was none-the-less able to do produce some powerful drawings and beautiful landscape paintings of Nebraska, where he settled in 1983 and remained until his death in 1991.