Rock Newcomb grew up on a farm in Idaho where he developed a love for nature and the environment. He began to draw at the age of six and received special encouragement from his grandmother, a librarian in a small Nebraska town. Planning to become an architect, Newcomb took a required life drawing class in his freshman year of college and loved it. As a result, he became an art major, earning both his B.A. and Master's Degree from California State University at Fullerton. Newcomb taught for 26 years before becoming an artist of art, prints and posters full-time and now conducts private workshops and seminars.
Newcomb loves having the freedom to create whatever he wishes and seeing his ideas come to fruition. He is especially drawn to subjects with interesting forms, textures, colors or patterns. Newcomb's body of art, prints and posters includes still lifes depicting ancient Southwestern artifacts, fishing flies and wildlife. Because of the complexity of his paintings of prehistoric pottery, Newcomb first does a preliminary drawing. Although he always has a plan when executing these paintings, they often take on a character of their own, and he follows where they may lead him. Using many washes of thin acrylic glazes similar to transparent watercolor, he achieves his distinctive and dramatic presentations.
To achieve the dramatic designs, colors and shapes of his fishing flies, Newcomb uses a technique not easily mastered, known as sgraffito. His initial drawings are first transferred onto a surface layer of scratchboard (usually clay-coated) on which he incises his designs using scratch knives. Newcomb, considered a master of sgraffito, takes this traditional approach even further with his addition of color to the scratchboard. Hhis intriguing art, prints and posters enable art lovers to marvel at rarely seen ancient artifacts from this region. It is Newcomb's hope that generations yet to come will see his work and better appreciate the unique culture and rich artistry of those generations that came before.