Clifton Wheeler was born in Hadley, Indiana, but his family moved to Mooresville when he was a child. Later Wheeler met William Forsyth who gave him encouragement and technical guides. Wheeler went to New York City and studied with William Merritt Chase, Robert Henri and Kenneth Hayes Miller. His fellow classmates included Ge3orge Bellows Edward Hopper and guy Pène DuBois. He traveled to Italy with Chase’s painting class and later to Paris and became friends with Gertrude Stein and Pablo Picasso. Although he was urged to stay in New York, Wheeler returned home to Indiana where he taught for many years at the Herrron Art Institute and Butler University. In the summer he taught at the University of Colorado in Boulder. He painted in North Carolina, Michigan, Tennessee and Upstate New York capturing scenes of the Black, Smoky, Rocky and Catskill Mountains as well as the dunes on Lake Michigan. Wheeler painted in an impressionist style with a strong sense of color and design.
Wheeler probably painted In the Catskills near the artists’ colony at Woodstock, New York. The staccato pattern of blocky brushstrokes, reminiscent of Forsyth’s landscape technique, enhances the sense of nature in movement. Wheeler’s design, based on a grid, reinforces the serenity of the woodland view.
Mary Q. Burnet. Art and Artists of Indiana, New York: The Century Company, 1921. Reprinted by Unigraphic, Inc., 1981. ASIN: B002J7QO2K