American Watercolor Artist
|Born in Toquerville Utah on October 11, 1938, the middle child of a family of five. Naegle's father
supported the family by farming and working as a plumber. Stephen graduated in 1956 from Hurricane
High School. In high school, he was introduced to the color wheel and linear perspective by his Biology
teacher, Mr. Glen Webb, as there were no art classes.
Naegle attended the College of Southern Utah from 1957 to 1959. It was there he was introduced to
watercolor by Gaell Lindstrom. During the summers he worked for the U.S. Park Service and the Utah
Park Company near Zion National Park, due east of Toquerville Utah.
|Gaell Lindstrom, Watercolor
Artist, Potter, and Art
Southern Utah University
|Moving to Utah State University at Logan Utah, Naegle
began working on an art degree during 1960 to 1961. He
dropped out of school, worked selling paintings a couple of
years, and was drafted into the Army. Stationed in
Albuquerque, New Mexico, his job was one of a design
draftsman. It was there he was introduced to his future wife,
|Montana and Stephen were married in 1963. (Montana Armstrong was born on April 21, 1940, in
Helena, Montana) Continuing to live in Albuquerque after he was discharged from the Army,
Stephen earned a living by steady sales of his work. They visited Montana's family who lived in the
state of Montana in 1966 and decided to move to Helena Montana. Stephen found out that New
York Artist, Joseph Hirsch would be teaching a summer class in Logan. Both he and Monty moved
there as Stephen continued schooling to completion of his batchelor's degree. Stephen decided to
complete his Master's degree there as well.
The had a son, whom they named Craig in 1968, then came the move to Arkansas. Stephen was an
instructor at Arkansas Polytechnic College in Russellville, Arkansas for three years. Four of his
students during those years were: Dean Shelton, Lenard Cockman, Jean Jewell, and Bruce Dickey.
Each summer he went to the Fayetteville area and worked with the Upward Bound Program at the
University of Arkansas.
|Determined to return to his roots, away from the classroom, and back to painting, they returned to Utah
without a job. Their lean days there forced Stephen to take other work which helped teach him how to
sell his work. Stephen's friend Gene Tobey helped him set up a one man show in Casper, Wyoming in
an art gallery. Tobey was an art instructor at Casper College but soon moved away, leaving the position
vacant. Stephen was a shoo-in for the job and went to work teaching art at the school. It was during this
time that Monty completed her bachelor's degree commuting all the way to Laramie.
Naegle began submitting work to the juried shows of the American Watercolor Society Annual Show. He
submitted three works within a ten year period, all were accepted. In 1978, Stephen won the distinction of
membership in the American Watercolor Society. The only watercolorist in all of Wyoming in the group.
He then began signing his work, "Naegle AWS".
By 1979 he again felt the call to paint full-time and left his position at Casper College to devote his time to
painting. While at Casper College, Stephen became good friends with a colleague in the Art Department,
Lynn Munns. Lynn teaches Ceramics and is Chairman of the Division of Fine Arts for the school.
|Lynn Munns, Ceramics, Chairman Division of Fine
Arts, Casper College, Casper Wyoming, co-worker
and Stephen's friend. Click on the thumbnails of the
lidded pot below for larger images. This piece was a
gift to Ruth Naegle, Stephen's mother who lived in
Toquerville, Utah. David Naegle Collection.
|Summary of information found in Masters of Western Art,
by Mary Carroll Nelson and from personal experience.
|Remembering Park City
This watercolor 14" by 20" is by Professor Emeritus Gaell Lindstrom, Southern Utah University.
It was an incredible stroke of fortune to locate and talk with Mr. Lindstrom. He recounted fond memories of
Stephen Naegle. Gaell and Stephen even did a bit of painting together at various sites in Utah. Thank
you for allowing me to publish this great work in this bio section. Your generosity is overwhelming, the
picture of your work is greatly appreciated and admired. Thank you Gaell!
Copyright 2004 - 2007
All Rights Reserved
| Stephen Naegle - Biographical Time Line
1938, October 11, Stephen is born to Lynn Peter Naegle and Ruth Wright Naegle in Toquerville, Utah.
One of five children: From oldest to youngest, Waldo Wright, Paul Wright, Nathaniel Wright, Stephen
Howard, Michael Lynn and Lynda. Waldo was only a toddler when he died. Stephen's middle name was
from his maternal grandfather, Howard Wright.
1944, Stephen remembers filling his desk with drawings since he was in the First Grade.
1952, Does his first painting while in the Eighth Grade.
1956, Introduced to the color wheel and perspective by the Biology teacher, Mr. Glen Webb. Graduates
from Hurricane High School.
1957-1959, Enters junior college at the College of Southern Utah, Cedar City. Works summers for the Utah
Park Service and Utah Park Company in Zion National Park.
1960 to 1961, Attends Utah State University as an art major. Drops out of school as he believed he'd
eventually be drafted into the Army. Sold paintings during this time to earn his keep.
1962 to 1963, Drafted into the Army as a Nuclear Specialist, he is stationed at Sandia Army Base in
Albuquerque, New Mexico as a Draftsman. During this time he meets Montana ‘Monty" Mae Armstrong.
October 5, 1963, Stephen and Monty get married. After his discharge from the Army, the couple moves to
Logan Utah so Stephen can begin work on his Bachelor's of Fine Arts degree. He continues and
completes his Masters as well.
1968, Matthew 'Craig' Naegle, a son, is born to Monty and Stephen. Stephen graduates from USU with a
Bachelors in Fine Arts.
1969, Stephen completes his Masters Thesis, Plant Forms and Weathered Houses in Watercolor.
Graduates with his Masters in Fine Arts from Utah State University.
1969 to 1972, Stephen is employed as an art instructor at Arkansas Polytechnic College, Russellville,
Arkansas. In 1971 he begins work with the American Watercolor Society, submitting work for consideration.
1972, Steve and Monty leave teaching in Arkansas and return to Utah. Sculptor, instructor, and friend,
Gene Tobey, assists Stephen in doing a one man show at Gallery 323 in Casper, Wyoming.
1973, Stephen applies for job at Casper College and is hired. This position was held prior by his friend,
Tobey who moved to Oregon. So the artist is gainfully employed for a number of years as he builds his
clientele for his paintings and relationships with professional art galleries around the country.
1978, Stephen is recognized by the American Watercolor Society after meeting all requirements and is
inducted as a member.
1979, The artist once again feeling the call to paint full time leaves Casper College.
1981, June 16th, Stephen is returning from a family reunion in Utah and is killed in a car crash on Interstate
80 east of the small town of Rock Springs, Wyoming.
1982, The book, Masters of Western Art is published chronicling the careers of twelve master painters of
Western genre. Stephen is one so honored by inclusion in the book. There is a foreword dedicating the
volume to his memory and expressing sympathy to Monty and Craig for their loss.
1988, The Nicolaysen Art Museum in Casper, Wyoming publishes a booklet on Stephen Naegle. They
also hold a showing of Stephen's work that year and the following year.
2004, The Naegle Memorial Webpages are posted on the internet on the dickeyguitars.com website. A
biography, some info of friends and family, a couple of stories from former students, and an idea takes
shape to catalogue all of Stephen's work.
2006, October 2, A domain name for hosting the Stephen Naegle Bio and Catalogue of Works is secured
and the site now resides at: www.naeglefriends.org.
Prepared by Bruce Dickey, October 10, 2006. Please contact me with corrections or additional highlights
to Stephen's career as a student, a teacher, and an artist.
|Lidded pot by Lynn
Munns, click the thumbnail
images for larger photos.
To the right is the maker's