Born in 1944, Virgil Elliott was fortunate enough to have been the first son of Dollye McAlister Elliott, a schoolteacher and amateur artist. He developed a lifelong burning obsession with art, and his talents flourished rapidly with constant practice drawing, and, later, painting. Correspondence courses with a number of renowned artists helped him tremendously. By his late teens, he was an accomplished draughtsman and competent oil painter. As a soldier in the U.S. Army he travelled to Europe in 1963 where he took art classes in the evenings to advance his painting skills still further. And of course there were museums full of Old Master paintings throughout Europe to inspire him.
Profoundly moved by the works of the Old Masters, particularly Rembrandt and Vermeer, Elliott sought to learn still more. Quickly becoming disillusioned with college-level art instruction at the colleges and universities he attended due to their emphasis on “modern” styles which did not interest him, he endeavoured to teach himself from that point onward. Several years as a freelance commercial artist helped to hone his talents, and in 1982 he felt he was ready to begin his career in fine art.
He has won many honours, awards and distinctions since his fine arts debut, and has become a sought-after teacher, lecturer, art show judge and writer in addition to the ongoing demand for his talents as a portrait painter and fine artist. He was elected an Associate Guild Member by the American Society of Classical Realism in 1996, and was made a Signature Member of the American Society of Portrait Artists that same year.
Virgil Elliott has had articles published in several art magazines. His book, Traditional Oil Painting was published in 2007. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Art Renewal Center, and a member of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Subcommittee on Artist’s Paints and Materials. Virgil Elliott is listed in Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in America, and the Art Renewal Center’s Gallery of Living Masters.