Painting U Designs & Lessons
Curtis "Derall" Ferguson
Educator, Scholar, Orator, Mentor & Artist are his vehicles for reaching our youth today.
Specializing in fine art oil paintings , commissioned portraits, residential, public and commercial murals, Professional Artist Curtis “Derall” Ferguson works in a variety of techiniques based on painting techniques shared with him by amazing instructors at Henderson State University, Italian artist Impeclia in New York City, New York and decades of studying traditional methods of the Old Masters. He works with the highest quality paints and linen canvases to create heirloom quality works of art that will last for generations.
Professional Artist “Derall” has a gift for capturing likenesses and conveying a subject's very essence and inner most self on the canvas.
Derall’s curiosity in art began from the moment he could pick up a crayon. Born in Flint, Mich. in 1965, Derall had , what he calls, a God –given natural talent for reproducing what he saw. Even when the family would travel from the North to the South to visit his grandparents on long 13-15 hour trips in the summer, he remembers forming subjects out of the clouds. Derall saw imagery every where. He tells stories of how the front grills of cars and the tail lights looked like people he knew. Faces where on the front of animate and inanimate objects.
Inspired by an old raggedy Saturday Evening Post found in his grandfather’s old smoke house, Derall was fascinated that the cover, illustrated by famed illustrator Norman Rockwell, was not a photograph but rather a painting. Derall knew that he could reproduce images well, but his drawings looked like a drawing, not a photograph. His creative juices were peaked and the life long journey to capture the realistic lifelike essence of people began. Derall began to draw and paint anything and everything from leaves to animals to people, cars and cartoon characters. Growing up with a single mother, money was tight and times were hard. His mother would spend what little extra she may have had on drawing supplies and pretty soon Derall had sketch books full of subjects from any place he could find them. Derall loved the attention his gift granted him. He was not an athlete like his older brother or younger sister, who received many accolades for their God-given abilities in the sports world. From there, his desire to capture likenesses expanded from portraits of celebrities to images of family and friends, always with a goal of making a portrait look exactly like the person conveyed. He sold his first portrait at the age of 14.
Derall attended public school, where he excelled academically and artistically. But it was not until he met Mr. Harding Thorough Deon, Jr., his high school art teacher , that he started to put his gift into perspective. His primary medium was Ebony pencil until Mr. Deon introduced him to oil painting techniques that he was taught while earning his MFA from SMU ( Southern Methodist University). Mr.
Deon was very impressed by how well Derall appeared to master these centuries old methods. Derall thoroughly enjoyed portraiture. While in high school Derall’s gifts in the arts and popularity became widespread and soon his income followed closely behind. He no longer needed his job at Wendy’s Old Fashion Hambergers but he kept it any. With the guidiance of his beloved Mr. Deon, Derall’s mother was able to save the revenue from the sales of his portraits and used it as the payment for his tuition for his first year of college along with a very nice scholarship he received from Wendy’s. Once in college, Derall was challenged by two very impressive artist instructors named Edwin Martin and Dr. John Linn.
Under classical instruction from Mr. Martin and rigorous technical training from Dr. Linn, Derall excelled in the Henderson State University Visual Arts Department, winning accolades from juried art exhibits.
Derall currently resides in DeSoto, TX with his children. He works full-time as a visual arts instructor for Dallas I.S.D., a fine arts oil painter and commissioned portrait artist, teaches private painting lessons and workshops, and is actively involved in the local arts communities. Having had such inspiring teachers and role models in his own life, he firmly believes in sharing his passion and expertise of the creative process with other aspiring artists, as well as showing practical ways to beautify any space , area and community through murals and other artistic projects.
Derall obtains inspiration from the triumphs and tragedies in life, seeking to make a positive difference in the world by painting a more beautiful picture wherever he goes. His paintings are an expression of , “why are we here” and the asks the questions, why do we have joy and sorrows in every life and how do we effect each other by our interactions aesthetically.
My life is my work and my work is a direct reflection of my life. I saw a lot of pain and poverty growing up, yet I constantly longed for joy and peace. My art became my escape to a “more perfect world” and paradise. I was fascinated by what the human face could reveal without using the mouth. Eyes, brows, lips, noses, gestures and expressions told of fear, sorrow, pain, joy, excitement, ecstasy and hopelessness. As I apply paint and pencil to my canvas while viewing my subject, a connectedness conversation takes place between me and the subject and I am allowed to experience the very essence of my subject and visually display those emotions on canvas or wall. Ironically, I use color, light and surface quality to capture the inner emotions of my subjects.
tangible subject matter. I am captivated by those things that go beyond the surface, and I hope to convey this deep and abiding interest to everyone who sees my work.