Fred Ekman’s ‘career in art’ actually started in his mid- teens when he began drafting and rendering for his father’s architectural firm in Phoenix, Arizona.
“It didn’t pay well, but I had so much fun drawing and painting that it didn’t matter,” says Ekman.
Upon completing his undergraduate work in fine art and his graduate work in education at Long Beach State College in 1958, Fred began a career in teaching and training, For the first three summer-school breaks, however, Fred worked at his second job; helping with ‘script development‘ and driving the Zambezi Miss for Walt Disney’s “Jungle Boat Ride“. Jungle Slim, as Fred referred to himself, decided that teaching would be more fun in a real jungle! So, in 1964, he packed up his wife and two children and left for the tiny islands of Micronesia for a two-year teaching sabbatical. Ten years later Ekman returned to America with his wife and three kids to teach, train and help others achieve their lifetime dreams. Now, fully retired, Fred is pursuing his lifetime dream of painting, traveling, painting, traveling and painting some more!
“Many years ago I felt it necessary to paint exactly on paper or canvas what I saw. Reporting accurately, that which existed in my line of sight, was critical to my success as a painter. Now, after years of studying under master teachers, I look for shapes in the landscape. I look for value differences and color temperatures in every scene. Each time I complete a drawing or painting, I realize how much I’ve learned from that experience! And, how much more I need to learn from my next attempt!” adds Ekman. “I guess I’ll always be a life-long student of art. I couldn‘t be having more fun!”
Ekman lives with his wife of 58 years in Lincoln Hills Sun City, California.