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Born in Chicago, Howard Behrens (1933-2014) enjoyed painting since he received his first water-color set in third grade. Known as "the Artist" in school, he went on to earn a Master's degree in painting and sculpture from the University of Maryland. Behrens traveled extensively and continued to develop his talent and explore new techniques, especially inspired by exotic tropical locales, and the quite different beauty of European architecture. Behrens was one of the world's most renowned palette knife artists, a tool traditionally used to mix oil paints before applying them to canvas with a paint brush. "I feel like every painting is a prerequisite for the next painting. That's how I eventually got into palette knife painting. It was an evolutionary thing." The evolution to his rich, distinctive, textured style has garnered Behrens numerous accolades and honors, including acting as an official artist of the 2002 Winter Olympics. Many of his pieces have been accepted into permanent museum archives around the world. Called the "Monet of the 21st Century," Behrens was a pioneer of the hand-embellished serigraph print. In light of this success in the 1980's, he began publishing limited edition serigraphs with the added feature of personally hand-embellishing each print. His work are reflections of such artists as Monet, Renoir, Pisarro, Sisely, and Italian palette knife painter Nicola Simbari. At heart, Behrens considers himself an expressionist who has integrated the spontaneous nature of the Impressionist painters. In 2000, Behrens created a collection of works inspired by Monet's gardens in Giverny, France entitled "A Tribute to Monet." The show was exhibited in 2001 at the French Embassy in Washington, D.C. A top-selling artist on Princess Cruise Lines, Behrens enjoyed making many in-house artist appearances on art-themed cruises and Connoisseur's Cruises until his semi-retirement in 2011, due to Parkinson's Disease. Sadly, Behrens passed away on April 14, 2014.