American artist Harold Von Schmidt was born in Alameda, California on May 19, 1893. At the age of five he was orphaned and had to move in with his Grandfather, a former gold miner. Von Schmidt was a strong and active young lad and worked as a cowhand and construction worker to earn extra money. His aunt recognized his artist talent and encouraged him to pursue an arts career. While still in High School he enrolled in the California School of Arts and Crafts. Von Schmidt decided to pursue a career in commercial illustration and by the age of twenty he had a published cover of Sunset Magazine In his twenties Von Schmidt was very athletic and was even on the 1920 and 1924 Olympic National Rugby team. During this time his artistic career began to blossom and he got work with Colliers, Cosmo, and The Saturday Evening Post. Von Schmidt preferred doing magazine illustration and was also known for this western illustration. Von Schmidt's passion for the Old West was inspired by the stories his Granfather told him. The painting above "Dark River" was painted in oil for a 1936 issue of Saturday Evening Post. VonSchimdit passed way in 1982.