A portrait of Leo Carrillo by Joseph Mason Reeves. Done in Conté crayon on paper. Conté: Invented in France in 1795 by Nicolas-Jacques Conté especially for drawing and sketching, Conté Crayons are made from a blend of natural pigments, kaolin clay, and graphite. The Conté crayon has been used by many of the world’s greatest artists, including Picasso, Delacroix, and Degas.
Leo Carrillo worked as a newspaper cartoonist before turning to acting on Broadway. In Hollywood, he appeared in more than 90 films in which he played supporting or character roles. However, he is best remembered from the television show, the “Cisco Kid”, on which he played Pancho, a role he had previously carried out in several films. A preservationist and conservationist, Carrillo served on the California Beach and Parks commission for eighteen years, and played a key role in the state’s acquisition of Hearst Castle at San Simeon, the Los Angeles Arboretum, and the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. He was eventually made a goodwill ambassador by the State Governor.
Joseph Reeves was born in Washington DC,, son of Admiral Joseph M. Reeves, earned his reputation as a painter of Southwest subjects, many of them portraits. He graduated from the University of California in 1917, a student of C. Chapel Judson, and served during World War I in the U.S. Navy. He remained in Europe, studying at the Academies Julian and Colarossi in Paris. After the war and traveling around the world, he returned to the United States in 1923, and then continued his art education at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and Corcoran Gallery in Washington DC. He worked as a portraitist in New York City and Norfork, Virginia before moving West, going first to San Rafael and San Francisco, and later to Los Angeles where he settled. He was President of The Artists of the Southwest and The Painters and Sculptors Club. He was also a member of the California Art Club, the Los Angeles Art Association, and the Laguna Beach Art Association. Exhibitions: California State Fair, 1927 (2nd prize), 1931 (3rd prize), 1934 Arizona State Fair, 1932 California Statewide (Santa Cruz), 1933 (prize) Los Angeles Art Association, LA 1934 (award) Paris Salon, 1934 Sierra Madre City Hall, 1934 California Art Club, 1934 Biltmore Salon (LA), 1934 Bohemian Club, 1935 Ebell Club (LA), 1935 Academy of Western Painters (LA), 1936 National Academy of Design Painters & Sculptors of LA, 1942 (3rd prize), 1947 Los Angeles County Museum of Art 1950 Greek Theater (LA), 1962.