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Carl W. Illig

Carl W. Illig

(1910 - 1987)

Carl W. Illig (1910-1987) enjoyed drawing all his life, but Depression and the death of his father when Carl was 17 prevented his early pursuit of an art education. However, he took a correspondence course in Commercial Art which at the time seemed wasted until he became an oil painter and realized how much he had learned about composition and perspective.

Illig was a successful carpenter when he married Virginia Root in 1950. Soon after he started studying oil painting with Arthur Kowalski in Buffalo, NY and summer studies in Riceville, NY. He learned rapidly, receiving the Tricolor Award at the Erie County Fair three years in a row while he was still studying.

After five years with Kowalski, Illig spent many summers in Gloucester, MA, where he learned the technique of painting boats and surf from Emile Gruppe. Because Carl had previously used the same palette and technique as Gruppe, he progressed quickly and made a substantial part of his living from art. In addition to selling his own works, teaching, selling art materials to students, giving painting demonstrations and restoring paintings added to his income.

Illig was a member of the Buffalo Society of Artists. Besides the Erie County Fair prizes, he received first prizes from Lancaster, NY, Orchard Park, NY and East Aurora, NY Outdoor Shows and the George Inness Award from the Fine Arts League in Buffalo. On a trip to Florida in 1985, he took a number of paintings and won first and third prizes in the Professional Class at the Pasco County Fair and first prize at the Zephyrhills Outdoor Show, leading to a purchase prize of three paintings by the Sun Bank of Pasco County.

Carl W. Illig, is well known in Western New York for his landscapes of every season, his marine scenes and lovely still lifes. He lived in East Aurora, NY with his family most of his life. His two sons followed their father in artistic pursuits. Peter is an artist and a high school art teacher and Carl is a research chemist and a part-time artist.

Biography written by the artists' late wife Virginia R. Illig and son, Peter Illig, Carl W. Illig,, (Accessed 12/30/2011)