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Daily Herald Article Profiles Bert Hoddinott and Reflections

In September 2013, Bert Hoddinott was profiled by The Daily Herald, a newspaper based in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago. Full text below taken from online archive.

by Dave Heun

Bert Hoddinott Jr. knew he was quite good at drawing pictures at age 5 when copying the drawings he first spotted in children's encyclopedias. Because he had a speech impediment as a youngster, Hoddinott figured he could better communicate through drawing pictures.

The speech impediment became a thing of the past, but the inner artist inside Hoddinott fueled him to a lifetime of painting and drawing. The 80-year-old resident of St. Charles said he retired from an ad agency in 1994, just in time to "miss the transition to computer graphics."But Hoddinott hasn't missed a beat, saying, "A pencil, paper and a sharpener are my computer." He has continued to fill his home with impressive drawings, paintings, woodcarvings and dioramas. "My wife thinks I am a great artist," Hoddinott said. "I consider myself a Sunday painter, someone with a hobby." The various portraits of his wife, Barbara, and son, Bert III, as well as rural settings and other scenes give the impression that his wife's assessment is accurate. So much so that Barbara and Bert III persuaded him to publish his work in a book. In the past year, "Reflections: The Art of Bert Hoddinott Jr." became a coffee-table book.

The 102-page book is the result of what Hoddinott has pursued most of his life, from his days as a draftsman in the Army to his five years as a student at the Art Institute of Chicago.

"We couldn't live on oranges and stale bread, so I went to work in an art studio while I was in school," Hoddinott said. "I always thought I wanted to be a painter," he added. Ultimately, his artistic skills were put to use as an art director at the Foote, Cone and Belding ad agency.

In between all of this, he and his wife operated a "mom-and-pop resort" in Canada for 20 years, providing the inspiration for many of the pastoral scenes he has created on canvas.

Hoddinott has never put his work on display in a gallery, other than when he was a student at the Art Institute.

"We had a gallery at Carson's in downtown Chicago, and I actually had one of my paintings stolen," he said with a chuckle.

Hoddinott was flattered that someone would want a piece of his work badly enough to steal it.

"But the folks at Carson's wanted to keep it hush-hush," he said. "They didn't want anyone to know what happened in their store."

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