Featured Artist of the Month- Troy Howell


Frame Designs Gallery

Artist of the Month

February 2017


Troy Howell is an artist by nature. He claims his start began when he could first “grasp the concept of a pencil”. Troy’s work is generally described as being representational of an idea, but still realistic in essence. He credits his inspirations to be linked to music, and believes his work stands for “one man’s attempt at using a man’s creative impulses”.

troy tea kettle

Read his full interview and artist bio here:


What is your favorite medium to work with?  Graphite and collage.

What is your biggest inspiration?  Music.

Could you describe the common thematic elements of your work?  My illustration work naturally is intended to illumine a story, and in doing so I try to show something that’s not already in the text. My personal work usually begins with a visual idea, or something that catches my eye. My work is typically representational, often with an element of magical realism.

When did you get started painting/drawing/etc?  When I was old enough to grasp the potential of a pencil.

Do you have any advice for those new to art?  Draw, draw, draw. Explore, break bounds within yourself, forget “rules.” Study anything that appeals to you.

How has your style developed over the years?  I’ve gone from the simple joy of creating in my youth, to a self-consciousness and limiting (not good) approach, and back again to the simple joy of creating. Also, I’m learning to overcome my tendency toward carefulness by being messy and spontaneous.

What was your absolute favorite moment in your artistic career?  When I finished the triptych for the main branch library (Fredericksburg).

What would you like to accomplish out of your artistic career?  To produce timeless, quality work that touches the mind or heart (or both) of the viewer.

What do you think your work stands for?  One man’s attempt at using his creative impulses.

What is your favorite museum/art gallery?  They’re both in Pennsylvania: the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford.

Fun question- if you were awarded a $10,000 art grant, what would you use it for?  Open a public studio in which I and other artists would work and use as a forum for ongoing art talks and demos.


Artist Bio

getPartTroy’s first creative work was titled, “Red Crayon on Green Carpet.” His first published work appeared in Cricket magazine. He is known as the illustrator of the Brian Jacques Redwall covers, and he has collaborated with Mary Pope Osborne of “Magic Tree House” fame, providing art for several books on mythology and legends. In recent years he has turned to writing, and his debut novel, The Dragon of Cripple Creek (Abrams/Amulet), features the last dragon on earth, whose life is endangered by a twenty-first century gold rush that’s triggered by a 12-year-old girl. He has two upcoming picture books through Schwartz & Wade, an imprint of Random House. His triptych for the downtown branch of the Central Rappahannock Regional Library, “The Ever-changing Cyberscape” is on display in the Gates Lab.

Troy’s work has won awards, starred reviews, and the like. But what matters most to him is work well done, that tugs at the reader or viewer in some way. That is the best reward.



Troy’s work will hang in the gallery throughout the month of February. Stop in for a cup of coffee and a chance to see an amazing show at any time this month!

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