So what was a (previously) successful illustrator to do when the market for his work was in a state of collapse? Some migrated to doing cover art for books. Others went into portrait painting. And a few, including James Bama and Howard Terpning (born 1927), the subject of this post, left the New York area to do Western fine art painting.
Biographical information on Terpning can be linked here and here. He was part of the last generation of traditional illustrators, those just old enough to have establish themselves by the early 1960s when the market for their work started to crumble. For instance, he was born the same year as Bob Peak; both Peak and Terpning (for a while) taking up the slack by doing movie poster art (See Leif Peng's post on Terpning's posters here.)
Peak died comparatively young, but Bama and Terpning were still alive when this post was written. From what I've read, Bama is no longer active, but Terpning continues to paint and his works have been well received by buyers favoring Western art.
Terpning focuses on American Indians as subject matter as the images below suggest.
Now for examples of Terpning's illustration work.
The first illustration is a pretty conventional 1960-vintage work that might have been done by other good illustrators. The movie poster art make use of compositional clichés of the time, and Terpning used a smoother, less painterly style that probably was in line with his clients' expectations. The two lower illustrations use a sketchy style popularized in the 1960s by the great Bernie Fuchs. So Terpning was both skilled and versatile, but never quite attained a distinctive style.