Ben Abril

Born in Los Angeles in 1923, Abril studied art throughout his childhood. After graduating from Glendale High School in 1941, he served in the US Air Force in Southern England, where he was inspired by his encounters with the works of Constable and Gainsborough to take up landscape painting. After the war he returned to Los Angeles and studied at the Glendale School of Allied Arts under Stan Parkerhouse and Arthur Beaumont. Under Beaumont’s influence he concentrated on watercolors, but later gravitated towards oil as his primary medium, finding a new strength of expression in the texture achieved through the use of the palette knife. While continuing his fine art studies at Otis, Art Center, and Chouinard, he also studied architecture and supported his wife and family by working for the County of Los Angeles as a cartographer and architectural design consultant. Abril retired from this job after eleven years to paint full-time, enjoying a growing reputation and increasing sales of his paintings. Abril was honored with several one-man shows at galleries and museums across the country and two important commissions from the US Navy: one to depict American naval installations in Japan during the occupation, and one to paint in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. He also illustrated children’s books and worked on movie and television productions as a scenic painter.