|Frederick C. Wilda
Frederick Chester Wilda was born in l941 and grew up in the small farming community of Hadley in western Massachusetts. He began sketching and painting at a very young age, landscapes and animals being his favorite subjects. Though lacking formal training, he was hired as an artist by a local corporation and within seven years was promoted to the position of Art Director. He worked in every area of commercial design, from truck and sign painting to product design and advertising for regional and international companies, garnering numerous awards along the way. He started his own business in advertising art about seven years later. During his years as a commercial artist he also continued working privately in the fine art mode, painting landscapes and wildlife portraits in oil.
Fred and his fiancée Helen began field-collecting minerals in 1997, and have built an impressive collection. Unfortunately a health problem in 1999 rendered him unable to work with the solvents and thinners needed for oil painting, and so he turned to painting mineral specimens from his collection in watercolors. His paintings quickly became popular and his reputation as a mineral artist spread. Fred generally paints from actual specimens; the resulting paintings may be fairly close representations of single specimens, or more general composite images designed to show the general features of a species. Many of the subjects are illustrated larger than life-size to make it easy for the viewer to see the details of the specimen. Backgrounds are used whenever Fred feels it is necessary to make a painting more dramatic, or show it in a natural environment. His works are not meant to be photorealistic reproductions, but rather are intended to capture in a more spontaneous way the beauty of minerals as he sees it. After completion of each painting, a series of approximately 30 to 50 limited edition prints are produced. Fred has also provided over 130 mineral illustrations for The Pegmatite Mines Known as Palermo (2004) by Robert Whitmore and Robert Lawrence. His work has also been included in articles in the English ExtraLapis series as well as Rocks & Minerals, and he exhibited his artwork at the 2004 Munich Mineral Show and at the Paradise City Arts Festival in Northampton, Massachusetts. Currently a selection of his paintings is on display in the Gemological Institute of America offices in Carlsbad, California.
Fred lives in Hadley with his fiancée and business partner Helen Rodak; their business name is "Natures Finest Creations®" and they can be found on the Internet at www.naturesfinestcreations.com or reached by e-mail at email@example.com. All of the artworks shown here are copyrighted by the artist.
Robinson, S. (2002) Massachusetts mineral artist Frederick C. Wilda. Rocks & Minerals, 77, 124-125
|Click on thumbnail picture to see larger image.|
Number of artworks found: 31 | Artworks being viewed: 9 to 16
||Scorzalite, North Groton, New Hampshire|
Watercolor on art paper, 11 x 17 inches (2002); from a thumbnail specimen in a private collection; original painting in the collection of Robert W. Whitmore.
||Yellow Beryl, Tajikistan|
Watercolor on art paper, 11 x 17 inches (2002); based on a 2-cm crystal in the collection of the artist.
||Aquamarine with Muscovite, Pakistan|
Watercolor on art paper, 11 x 17 inches (2002); based on a specimen with crystals to 4 cm in the collection of Martin Zinn; original painting in the Martin Zinn collection.
||Fluorite, Berbes, Spain|
Watercolor on art paper, 11 x 17 inches (2002); based on a 7-cm specimen in the collection of the artist; original painting in the Martin Zinn collection.
||Smoky Quartz, Palermo mine, North Groton, New Hampshire|
Watercolor on art paper, 11 x 17 inches (2003); based on a 7-cm specimen in the collection of Robert W. Whitmore; published in The Pegmatite Known as Palermo, (2004).
||Wulfenite with Mimetite, San Francisco mine, Mexico|
Watercolor on art paper, 11 x 17 inches (2003); based on an 8-cm specimen in the collection of Martin Zinn; original painting in the Martin Zinn collection.
||Apatite, Emmons Mine, Greenwood, Maine|
Watercolor on art paper, 11 x 17 inches (2004); based on an 1.5-cm crystal cluster in the collection of the artist.
||Franklinite with Willemite, Sterling Hill, New Jersey|
Watercolor on art paper, 11 x 17 inches (2003); based on franklinite crystals to 6 mm in the collection of the author; original painting in the Martin Zinn collection.