Drew Gentle was born in 1947 and raised in Los Angeles, California. After high school, Drew went to work as Artist Assistant to his Father Robert Gentle at Hanna-Barbera Studios. For the next four years, he worked summers in animation and for the rest of the year attended Chouinard Art Institute (now the California Institute of the Arts), where he graduated with a BFA in 1969. Early on Drew aspired to a career in the fine arts, but at 21 with a budding career in animation, and a little later, marriage and children he opted for the steady paycheck and stayed in Animation. Over the course of the next forty years he developed a career as a multi-skilled animation artist working continually at one studio while frequently freelancing work at two or three other Studios. During this time Drew’s desire and passion to do fine art only became stronger and found frequent expression for his own pleasure and sanity. While working in the animation industry, Drew did his more personal work of abstracted figurative personas, and kept hundreds of these drawings in notebooks. Years later, this trove of drawings would form the basis for his long and large print series. He also produced paintings and sculpture, and was in several gallery shows. Currently, he has been able to return to his long simmering passion and creative impulse of creating fine art. Drew moved to Eureka Springs, Arkansas in the summer of 2007, and is now enjoying the beauty of the Ozarks while he pursues his artistic vision.
All of my imagery, be it in drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, clay, or wax, springs from a desire to connect to the humanity in all of us; to reach through the feelings of isolation and aloneness and make contact with that which makes us human. They are often fleeting, always illusive glimpses of the inner psychic makeup… of people turned inside out, with their internal mix on display, and not as much what we physically look like. For me, the challenge of finding the visual vocabulary to express this is my goal: to display the multiple emotions – good, bad or otherwise, with the full array of foibles, fears and vanities as well as strengths and passions in an individual persona, and then be able to reproduce it in a non-judgmental but truly empathetic way.