Following in the footsteps of such childhood hero’s as Howard Pyle, N.C. Wyeth and Norman Rockwell, Durwood Coffey learned the art of illustration and practiced this visual skill for over 30 years in the corporate world. His clients came from across the country representing such firms as Detroit Edison, Anheuser-Busch, General Motors, SeaWorld, Capital Cities and Marvel Comics. It was in this commercial visual training ground where projects ranging from spot illustration in periodicals to the creation of major series of paintings for corporate boardrooms were made. This business environment is where Durwood kept his artistic vision and skills honed for a day in which he could unleash them upon the personal subjects of his choice.
In only a few short years after his birth in 1951, Durwood would pick up pencil and paper and begin to draw. Influenced by his artistic family, especially by his father and an older brother who were both enamored by the practice of drawing, Durwood found his natural attraction and enjoyment in the creation of images from the animal world.
Throughout his school years he found his true passion and always excelled in art classes. Immediately after high school graduation, Durwood enlisted in the United States Marine Corps where he had the job title of Combat Artist. After serving his term of duty, he attended college where he majored in Fine Art and Illustration.
Living and working under the urban Detroit smokestacks of the automotive capital of the world, where the practice and need for wildlife art is not highly in demand, Durwood found raising a family and being a provider to be a challenge for those with artistic talent. His success depended on his ability to produce artwork in a wide variety of subject matter, ranging from cars, trucks, architecture, cartoons, portraits and landscapes. Many of these works won him awards and recognition among his peers in the field of illustration.
In time, Durwood felt it was important to return to painting the subjects that he most enjoyed as a child, the images that never left his creative imagination. The world of the animal kingdom and its habitat soon came back to life on canvas and paper. With the freedom to explore the vast variety of wildlife subjects that exist in the world and reference them through his personal artistic expression, a collection of insects, fish and animals took form and await the eyes of the world for consummation.