George Cadell was born and reared in Fort Cobb, a small rural town in western Oklahoma on the banks of the Washita River and Gawkey Creek. Most of their neighbors and friends were Native Americans and White families that were descendants of the first settlers of the Fort Cobb area, then known as Washita or Big Hunt Country.
George spent hours listening to stories and legends passed down about the early days on the banks of the Washita. These early experiences in his life, along with his love of wildlife and nature have played an important part in his style of art and how he approaches life today.
Having established himself as a landscape painter, George then turned to sculpture in search of ways to express his feelings. He likes to work in both welded steel and bronze, depending on the piece and what he needs to express. In his representation of nature he attempts to bring the pieces to live, not so much with extreme realism, but with movement, texture, and hints of characteristics that show real feelings that come from within his subjects. He hopes that in some small way he can depict something of the inner life of the people or animals he uses as his subjects. George says that his greatest thrill of accomplishment is when a piece of work communicates to the viewer the feelings and thoughts that inspire the piece.
George and his Wife Pat moved to the mountains west of Bakersville, North Carolina. Here he worked in his studio and foundry with his best critic, his wife; close at hand.
As well as being a working artist, George taught art at the high school level for thirty-six years. In teaching he worked to instill in each of his students the importance of being creative individuals, though many of his students may have never become accomplished artists, he wanted them to believe in themselves as indivuduals of worth with something important to give.
George has been asked why he continued to teach art at the high school level so many years instead of becoming a full time artist. To this he replied, “This must have been what my Lord wanted me to do.”
According to some in the field, becoming a truly accomplished artist means that art must be put first and above all in one’s life. If this is true, I suppose I’ll never become the truly accomplished. Art is a very important part of my life, but it will always rank as third behind my family which is second and God who is first. Without my God’s grace and my family’s love, there would be no reason nor purpose for third place. But I’ll keep striving, because God expects me to use the talents he gave me; because Pat and my children believed in me, because Pat who is now with God is close at hand in spirit and is still my encourager, and on accasion by a glimpse of appreciation and approveal in the eyes of the viewer.
BA/Art Southwestern State University/Okla. MA/Art Central State University/Okla. Working artist in painting and sculpture for 25 years. Art instructor in Oklahoma City Public Schools for 10 years. Art instructor in Denton Texas public Schools for 26 years. Art instructor.