I have known Turning Bear Mason since 2001 and he has always persisted in teaching me both perspective and purpose. Our last class was on the basics. I asked TurningBear, “what are the basics?” I had only art in mind. T.B. had God and art in his and he started me in Genesis with our Creator God and with the Light of the world, our Lord Jesus Christ. I am learning to be a tool for God’s glory with His gift if art that He has granted me to minister to others the Gospel.
- Scott P
I took your drawing courses to learn the “Basics”; how tough could that be? Well, it is tough, complicated and highly demanding. But I am having fun, and learning stuff; go figure! And you never get to the end…..
So thank you, I think; you have put me a path and I can’t wait to see where it leads me.
- Jim P
I am writing as a reference for TurningBear Mason, Artist, Scrimshander. For the last six weeks I have been his student in learning the art of oil painting. The instructional time in his studio has absolutely flown by.
His presentation of material is organized, thoughtful, and inspiring. He presents his thirty years of experience, his knowledge of the masters and their techniques, and his love for his art in patiently answering a myriad of a beginner’s questions. Also impressive and helpful are his fine paintings which adorn the walls of his atelier studio. When a question arises concerning technique he can easily refer to that problem in composition, brush stokes, or color in one of his own paintings. This visual explanation is very helpful.
I feel that I have learned many applicable insights in the use of oils. I especially appreciate the manner in which he has helped me to develop my first painting: selecting a scene from our local area, working with limited colors to stress their full range, and building on each aspect in an easily understood way. I am further inspired to put aside fear of trying something new through his coaching which is always patiently and timely given, a skill vital to good teaching.
I have no hesitation in recommending him highly to individual and/or group classes.
- Carolyn S
TurningBear Mason provides instruction for students that is followed by practice using these instructions. He also provides examples of the didactic material which further illustrate the instructions. He provides models for drawing that further emphasize what he has taught. He provides a positive environment conducive to non-threatening practice of skills.
I highly recommend him as a teacher and philosopher of drawing.
- Susan W
Turning Bear is one of the very best art instructors among the 7 or 8 I have had. I like his instruction because he was able to go over the mechanics of drawing in a very understandable manner. When I said, “This doesn’t look right but I don’t know why,” he was able to able to explain the error or helped me with a few questions to figure it out. Often art instructors take the pencil, pen, or paint and fix the art work with no explanation, which does not help me to grasp the concepts of good artwork. His criticism was always gentle, and more in the frame of questioning the artist’s view of his or her artwork. He has an appreciation that each student has his or her own style, and Turning Bear helped students to gain mastery of the use of the materials without criticism of their style. I am hoping that he will be offering more classes in the future as I look forward to taking them.
- Claudette P
I completed a Portrait Drawing Workshop with TurningBear Mason feeling thoroughly exhilarated and confidant that the experience has put me on the right track, artistically.
He did an excellent job of presenting portrait drawing skills including face proportions, features, eyes and hair.
Turning Bear is an excellent instructor. I would not hesitate to sign up for additional workshops with him.
- Sandra M, Ph.D.
This letter is my personal recommendation for Turning BearMason. In February of 2006 he was my instructor for a fine art course in the study of graphite art. He taught the importance of steady practice, attention to detail and perspective. At the end of the course, under his tutelage, I was able to complete, for the first time, a lifelike portrait of my dad.
Turning Bear was very helpful and professional. When I made a mistake in an exercise, he illustrated how to correct it and praised improvement. His instruction was clear and easy to follow. Because of his patient teaching I was able to complete three more beautiful and lifelike drawings and I intend to continue. I would highly recommend Turning Bear Mason for any art instruction job.
- Brenda S
I am a sixteen year old home-schooled sophomore. I took the beginner art class with Turning Bear Mason in a small group setting. Some of the things I learned about were, blending, shading, contrast, vanishing point, volume, and value. We also covered things like sketching pencils, and the shades of the pencils. Turning Bear was eager to help us learn these skills and concepts. He was always prepared and patient. We had homework assignments and he always encouraged us to try, telling us that practice is the best teacher. I plan on taking the next level of classes with Turning Bear when it is offered.
- Lydia B
Thank you Mr. Mason for this wonderful opportunity to enhance my drawing skills. These skills I have acquired from you will not only help me in drawing but in all various forms of art. This class has really helped me learn composition and scale. One cool thing I have learned from this class id the tortillion (or the blending tool). The tortillion is neat because you can make shadows look more realistic and shadowing makes an object look three dimensional and then it looks real which the artist is almost always trying to accomplish.
Another important aspect I learned from this class is the vanishing point and geometrics. It doesn’t seem all that important but plays a major role in reaching the over all goal of realism. One more thing I learned is discipline and practice. This is a skill I can carry with me to any task. This class has been an amazing experience and has really helped me learn the basics.
Thank you Mr. Mason and could we please continue if possible?
- Kevin K
I have always been interested in Art. I have taken different Art classes. But Turning Bear’s class was different, he had us draw things actually in front of us.
I have learned a lot since I started and I feel so much more comfortable with drawing. I have enjoyed the classes very much.
- Hannah T
It is my pleasure to recommend my friend, TurningBear Mason. His abilities, skills, and communication competence, personality, and work ethic, places him in a special position as a unique artist.
His output of quality artwork is prodigious, in both drawing and painting. TurningBear uses his knowledge and social discernment effectively as he approaches business opportunities and artistic displays.
One only needs to view his work to see that he understands artistic composition, color, and design. He is open-minded in his approach to evaluating current art concepts as they present themselves in the arena of competition and display.
My friend, TurningBear, has always impressed me with his “knowing” and “doing” art, but he is not satisfied with these accomplishments. He always is eager to demonstrate methodology, explain his approach, compare his techniques with those of others, and enthusiastically encourage others to develop their talents, and attempt self-expression. His 33 years of experience puts him in a special position to do so.
- Robert C. Jones, Ph.D., Ancient History and Ancient Art History, Retired
I have known TurningBear for some years now, and as God has given us a like mind in the world of Art, I have been greatly blessed in not only his abilities, but his deep convictions from a philosophical sense. As one who loves the Master’s Creation TurningBear has an affinity for the painstaking reproduced representation of that world. What God has done with a sweep of the hand, he labors to accomplish with many paint strokes. We have often talked art in regard to technique and style, but it is in his observation of details that TB’s greatest gift is expressed. His observation and critique of his own work and the work of others drives him into continued pursuit of his craft. But more, his observation of the created world in all its wonder with the ability to carve out a composition from it is his observational gift. He has often pointed to particular scenes on display that have the raw material of the painter’s composition.
TurningBear’s years of experience have solidified a strong base for the understanding of color, contrast, lighting and composition. He has also been an advocate for sharing that knowledge to me and others. Though I have not sat under his tutelage, I have by osmosis if you will, learned to look at the world and art differently. As the scriptures proclaim the Glory of the Lord in the most profound sense, so should the brush of the artist convey a sense of this Glory. I know this to be the first and foremost goal of all TB’s work, and it is in this message that he is most enlarged in his spirit to share with others.
- James Martin
I write this letter as a reference for Turning Bear Mason, in support of his application for a position teaching art. As a patent, trademark and copyright attorney, I have worked professionally with professional artists.
I have known Turning Bear for about four years. Before meeting Turning Bear, I had seen and admired his artwork as featured in a Montana magazine article, and later in a gallery in Montana. Since then, my wife and I have bought several of his oil paintings and pencil drawings, some prints, and commissioned a pencil drawing of our grandson.
As my wife and I became friends with Turning Bear and his wife, Lynne, we learned a lot about Turning Bear, his work and techniques, and his manner. We both believe he would be a splendid teacher in a number of artistic areas — certainly in oil painting, pencil drawing and scrimshaw.
Actually, my wife and I were impressed enough with what Turning Bear showed us about his methods and techniques, that we had discussed having him work with our daughter, who is a highly skilled watercolorist, to teach her how to work in oils or acrylics, but her education schedule has not permitted that.
Turning Bear’s work demonstrates his technical artistic capabilities, and in his explanations of how he does things he showed me that he is very knowledgeable and curious about a variety of techniques, media and subject matter. I have seen him develop and use different techniques, for example, in his oil paintings. He can also do exquisite detail work, both in his paintings and in small images, such as scrimshaw.
While much of Turning Bear’s work has been outdoors oriented, he does excellent portraiture. His pencil rendering of our grandson, Justin, shows a vibrant, physical boy of 7 years old. Turning Bear easily engaged with our grandson, got him to do things, which showed who he is, and took many photos– he created an image which captures Justin’s exuberant and active spirit.
I have seen Turning Bear work extensively on commissioned fine art works and know him to be very diligent and disciplined in moving each work forward to completion as well as satisfaction of his clientele. He is very good at working with sophisticated clientele, and has been able to draw very substantial commissions. He also takes initiative to develop new leads and contacts. Turning Bear is very affable and well-spoken; customers like him, and I am sure students would as well.
- Alex C. Johnson, Jr., Patent and Trademark Lawyer
I have known Turning Bear Mason almost four years. He and his wife, Lynne, attended our church and were members before they moved to Arizona. He is a man of integrity with a strong work ethic, which he reflected professionally and in his volunteer work for the church. His discipline and diligence in fine art renditions were obvious. He is meticulous and shows great skill both in drawing and in painting. My wife and I are blessed in having some of his art work in our home, for which we are grateful. We were able to observe him present his work in local galleries and art shows. His professionalism was always present. I know that Turning Bear was always eager to teach and pass along his expertise as a fine artist to others. I believe that he enjoyed doing this, in a patient manner, whenever possible.
- Pastor Jim Huff
I have had the pleasure of knowing Turning Bear Mason for the last ten years. I become acquainted with him and his wife, Lynne, while teaching a class at their church. We soon became close-knitted friends. Turning Bear is certainly one of the most impressive men that I have met in my life. He is hard working, generous, knowledgeable, wise, discerning, disciplined, patient, calm, creative, organized, and a devoted husband and father. Above all, he is, by God’s enabling grace, a glad and obedient follower of Jesus Christ.
When I first met Turning Bear, I had very little knowledge and appreciation for fine art. In fact, I was quite indifferent toward it as a meaningful expression of real life. However, through the years, my understanding and admiration for worthy art has profusely increased as a result of Turning Bear’s knowledge and understanding of artistic composition, color, and design. His skills in drawing and painting are most surely in the upper echelon in the field of artistry.
While much art can come across as confused, boring, unintelligible, and ultimately, meaningless, the works of Turning Bear Mason are a masterful expression of God’s glorious creation. I have personally seen him on more than a few occasions see a spectacular scene in creation, capture it in his mind or with a camera, and then create a painting that is breathtaking to behold.
Turning Bear has noteworthy discipline in prolific freelance fine art renditions. I am simply amazed when I peek into his studio and view the fine detail that he exerts into a painting or drawing. One can literally stand and look at one of his many finished pieces of art for a considerable amount of time and notice the varying colors and fine details. One has to possess a large dose of discipline to create such works of mastery.
I have also had the joy of seeing Turing Bear in action in his professional art galleries and the frequent art shows that he has participated in. His management and social ability in these settings provide an atmosphere where guests/customers can thoroughly enjoy his work.
Although Turning Bear has considerable knowledge and experience, he also has an admirable eagerness to learn new fine art dynamics and expression. This disposition will make him even more skilled in fine art renditions in the coming years.
Turning Bear has no inclination to horde his immense knowledge and skill in fine art. He has an undeniable eagerness to teach and pass along his expertise of 33 years as a Fine Artist to those who are aspiring to be a professional artist.
Therefore, I wholeheartedly commend Turning Bear for your consideration for a teaching position at your institution. Your students will, no doubt, profusely benefit from his instruction and tutelage.
- Benjamin Davis
It has been my privilege to have known TurningBear for the past five years. TurningBear has a reputation in a very strong art community of being the one of the areas finest artist. He is both disciplined and prolific in his profession. The quality of his work is recognized not only by those who purchase his work but by his peers as well.
His beautiful gallery draws people from around the world. I have no doubt that this will continue. His work has also been exhibited in many of the best art shows both nationally and locally. As an artist myself I have enjoyed his work for its subject, composition, color and design. He has a mastery in the elements as well as creative technique.
I have worked with Turning Bear and found him to be personal and professional. Having taught in a college for three years myself I have found him to possess the knowledge, experience and communication skill necessary for teaching. I believe him to be an excellent candidate for the position to which he is applying.
If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask.
- Rev. Michael W. Smith
My name is Michael Parker. I have been on the board for a private school, have taught for about 22 years, and was production manager for a small pharmaceutical manufacturing company. I have known Turning Bear Mason for about 10 years. He is a man of impeccable character. I know him to be hard working, diligent in whatever task he sets himself to accomplish, and pleasant company to be near.
I have seen many of his artistic works and enjoy them greatly. He has progressed in skill over the years and is patient when teaching. He shows discernment in selecting his goals, and determination in accomplishing them. For these and many other reasons, I do not hesitate to recommend him for any work he seeks.
- C. M. Parker
We have known Turning Bear Mason for approximately eight years and know him to be a man of resolute character. We have fellowship with Turning Bear at church and in outside social settings. He is a joy to be around and has a great sense of humor. Turning Bear is a brother in Christ to us both and we treasure his friendship.
Turning Bear is a godly man and committed to his wife and family. He is kind and loving towards others and is generous with his time. His love of Gods creation shows through in his artwork and is truly awe-inspiring. His attention to detail in his work is evident and shows how disciplined and thorough he can be in drawing and painting.
In visiting his art studio here in Tucson, we have seen how professional and knowledgeable Turning Bear is in the preparation of materials and information he gives to his students. He articulates the mechanics of fine art with passion and intellect.
We would highly recommend Turning Bear Mason for any position he applies for. He would be a profitable asset to any employer.
I, Steven Warner, am retired from the Pima county Sheriff’s Dept. and my wife Amelia is a special education teaching assistant with the Flowing Wells Unified School District. If you have any further questions please feel free to contact us.
- Steven and Amelia Warner