FAS Instructor: Hank McLaughlin

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As an artist, Hank McLaughlin has a close relationship with nature. When choosing a subject to paint, he’s usually drawn to the natural world. But even though he tells his students that they’ll be more successful if they paint from nature, he reminds them that they don’t have to go on a camping trip to do it. As he says, “Go to the refrigerator and take out a couple of apples. That’s nature!”

That’s the kind of humorous, down-to-earth touch that characterizes both Hank’s approach to art and his work with students. He’s a well-rounded artist who is comfortable with a wide spectrum of mediums, from oil pastels, pencil, charcoal and pen and ink right through watercolor, acrylics, and oil paints. He’s even dabbled in sculpture and woodcarving.

His formal art education began at age 18 when he admired the work of Harold Wolcott, a noted painter. Mr. Wolcott invited Hank to study with him. After two years, Hank moved on to the Art Students League in New York City and later studied at Paier School of Art in Hamden, Connecticut.

For many years, Hank combined his own painting with a full-time job as Art Director of Remington Arms Co. Now, in addition to his work with Famous Artists imageSchool students, he has a busy freelance career, handling commissions for portraits, commemorative illustrations, and package design as well as lecturing and teaching classes in art.

Recently, he was commissioned to paint three portraits of the newly elevated Cardinal of the Diocese of New York, Edward Egan, one of which hangs in St. Patrick’s Cathedral. His paintings have been exhibited widely and can be found in collections of actresses Katherine Hepburn and Nancy Marchand, former New York Mets Ed Kranepool, Jerry Koosman and Dave Kingman, and Paul D. Arnold of Arnold Bakers, among others.

One of Hank’s favorite activities is leading “Paint-Outs”—location painting workshops in picturesque Connecticut spots for fellow painters and students. It’s just one way of maintaining that friendly relationship with nature he’s always found so inspiring.