Roydon “Roy” M. Mason

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Roydon "Roy" Martell Mason (American, 1886-1972) was born in Gilbert Mills, NY on March 15, 1886. As well as hunting and fishing scenes, he also did illustrations for magazines including Collier's, True, and Reader's Digest. Roy Mason had firsthand knowledge of wildfowl, shooting and fishing for sport provided themes for the vast majority of his paintings. His use of the medium of watercolor enabled him to create landscape and wildlife paintings that reached a large audience outside of the sporting community.

Mason was raised on a farm and was encouraged in his art talent by his father Frank E. Mason. The elder Mason was a farmer-turned-engraver, who trained his son in the use of rod and gun on frequent outings in New York state and Canada. He also instructed both Roy and his older sister Nina B. Mason Booth (American, 1884-1958) in the techniques of drawing. Nona also went on to be a nationally recognized painter, illustrator & instructor primarily known for her portrait paintings, landscapes, seascapes, pastels and still life paintings.

Roy was primarily self-taught, and his art education consisted of only one correspondence course, which he later referred to as his "formal art training." He worked with his father in an engraving business, and then became head of the art department for a Philadelphia lithograph company while maintaining his own studio for painting. In 1919, he returned to Batavia to head the art department of his father's firm.

A close friend of artist Chauncey Foster Ryder (American, 1868-1949) from 1926, Mason often painted with him in New Hampshire.

Mason became a member of the Buffalo Society of Artists, the Salmagundi Club, the American Federation of Arts, the Philadelphia Water Color Club, Grand Central Galleries and an Associate Member of the National Academy of Design. He won the gold Medal of Honor of the America Watercolor Society in 1961.

While maintaining a studio in Batavia, New York, he began spending long periods in southern California in the 1930's. He began to exhibit his paintings with local and national art associations and to produce art work for nationally distributed periodicals. In 1940 he was elected to full membership in the National Academy of Design. During his lifetime, his watercolors were featured in one-man shows in galleries and museums across the United States. In 1959, Roy retired and he and his wife Lena moved to California where they remained for the rest of their lives. Roy died on August 13, 1972 in La Jolla, CA.

Memberships: National Academy; Salmagundi Club; American Watercolor Society.

Exhibitions: National Academy of Design, 1930; Salmagundi Club, 1930, 1931 (awards); Art Institute of Chicago, 1941; American WaterColor Society, 1956 (gold medal); Laguna Beach Art Association, 1960-61; Los Angeles County Fair, 1961.

Collections: Art Institute of Chicago; Illinois State Museum; Haggin Museum (Stockton); MM; Toledo Museum.

(Source: Our internal records; Biographical information with permission from the archives of AskArt and prior biographical from Artistic Gallery,