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Joseph Tullbane

 Prior to his retirement six years ago, Joe served as Associate Dean for International Education at St. Norbert College.  Earlier, he spent time as a consultant to the Army, as a senior analyst on Russian Political/Military Affairs, after retiring from a 23-year career in the military.  Most of his military service was with the U.S. Intelligence Community -- in Madrid, Spain as a military attaché; in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, as a teacher and in Washington, DC, as a strategic political analyst.  He has traveled widely in Europe, Eurasia, and Latin America.


Dr. Tullbane earned a Ph.D. in Russian Area Studies from Georgetown University, as well as two degrees in Architecture from Rice University and an MA in International Relations from American University.  As an architecture student, he became familiar with oil, acrylics, pastels, pen & ink, and pencil as art media.  


For most of his life he drew and painted for pleasure.  In the last few years, he has been exploring watercolors as a new challenge.  He has shown in juried gallery shows in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and in Southwestern Florida.  When asked about awards he noted that he may have reached his zenith as a youth in Madrid, Spain, when he finished sixth in his age group (6th-8th grade students) in the country’s national annual art competition.  His work in pastels of the monumental statue of Apollo (in Madrid) was exhibited for one year in the temporary exhibition hall of the Prado Museum (1962-63).


He describes his watercolor works as layered nuances – vibrant in their color and tone, more stark than that experienced in traditional works in the field.  Washes exist in these works both as themselves – hinting at something unseen – and as layers upon layers of these delicate washes to create something new in color and depth.  His goal is to capture everyday life as icons of an era.  His intent is for them to serve as portraitures of or glimpses into the reality of the time.  A barn or building in its ruin literally describes an era in decline.  A bird soaring above a sunset exemplifies a delicate beauty that is at risk in our life time.


Carved out of the early American wilderness, Wisconsin has a unique history that might be summed up visually as Castles, Cathedrals and Coastline.

The Castles of Wisconsin are its farm settlements, often distant from one another, but almost always punctuated by their signature barns and towering silos. They form a network of majestic structures stretching across the state. Their slowly aging, collapsing visages are reminiscent of the castles that dot the European landscape.

Country churches, similarly, are slowing dying out as more and more people migrate to the big cities. Abandoned ruins, and the rare functioning church within its shrinking community, are signs of a vibrant past and a declining future. They are the Cathedrals of Wisconsin.

The state is defined by its Coastline along one of the largest inner-seas of the world. But where once these coastlines teemed with schooners and larger sailing craft carrying goods and new settlers to the promises of a new life, now it is pleasure crafts that criss-cross the immense area of Lake Michigan.

Change is everywhere. The theme of this show is Iconic Wisconsin!!


The work below is exclusive to artless Bastard Gallery. If you would like a commission or more info please email the gallery. Email: