Bradley Schmehl first manifested a God-given talent for creating pictures at a very early age. As a boy of five or six he drew a picture of some construction workers who had been laboring in the street in front of his parents’ house. His mother, noticing some of the figures in the picture were much smaller than the others, questioned her son about it. His response: “Those little men in my picture are farther away than the bigger ones”. Thus Brad demonstrated an intuitive grasp of the Law of Diminution in perspective, just one of the concepts that would be clarified and developed in his subsequent training.
Born March 28, 1962, Brad studied at the York Academy of Arts, 1981-82, and completed his formal art training at Pennsylvania School of Art and Design, Marietta, Pennsylvania (now Pennsylvania College of Art and Design, Lancaster, Pennsylvania) in 1984. He is a Student Founder of that institution and also taught there as an adjunct Instructor of Book Illustration from 1993-1997. He continues to train himself in the artistic dis- ciplines, and studies the works of his artistic heroes such as Howard Pyle, N.C. Wyeth, Norman Rockwell, Richard Schmid, Tom Lovell and many oth- ers. At various points in his professional sojourn, he has been an easel painter, a book illustrator, a theatrical set designer and painter, and a tech- nical illustrator.
Along the way, Bradley married his best friend, the former Rebecca Marie Buckley, in September 1987. She now serves as his business manager, in addition to the many other roles she so capably fills. Brad and Becky have appeared together at gallery shows and have been involved in supporting battlefield preservation organizations. From 2001-2007 Brad en- joyed Civil War reenacting as his busy schedule permitted, and he partici- pated in Civil War events as a mounted officer.
Mr. Schmehl’s paintings and prints reside in numerous private, corporate and government collections such as:
- Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, Los Angeles, California - Booth Museum of Western Art in Cartersville, Georgia - US Army War College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania - Delaware State Capitol, Dover, Delaware
- Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas - Silver Companies, Boca Raton, Florida - Eisenhower School, Ft. Lesley McNair, Washington, DC - Washington County Lincoln Museum, Springfield, KY
Bradley has been commissioned to paint class gift paintings by four different graduating classes of the US Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, 2001 through 2003, and 2013) as well as by a class of the Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas (2004) and the Eisenhower School of the National Defense University, 2016. (His work features prominently in the book Class Gift History, 1953-2013, pub- lished by the US Army War College Foundation, Carlisle, PA.)
Bradley was commissioned in 2006 to paint a series of 13 large oils for the Silver Companies, developers of the Celebrate Virginia complex in Fredericksburg, Virginia, a project that he was busy with until late 2008. In 2008, Brad was commissioned by Washington County, Kentucky to paint a depiction of the capture of Sarah Mitchell, an ancestor of Abraham Lin- coln, for the Washington County Lincoln Museum. In 2018, Brad’s painting Cotton Mogul was purchased by the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles.
Bradley’s automotive paintings were the subject of a 1984 article in the prestigious Automobile Quarterly (vol. 27, no. 2), and his military artwork has graced the covers of numerous Civil War and Military magazines. Bradley’s work had focused almost exclusively on Civil War subjects be- tween 1995 and 2009. His Civil War fine art prints, published by Somerset Fine Arts in Houston, Texas, are still eagerly collected by historical enthusiasts, and have been sold in hundreds of galleries across the country. More recently, his artistic scope has grown to include a variety of subjects including landscape, wildlife, railroading, maritime and Native American scenes.