On display in the Upper Loft Gallery July 2 – 31
Artists’ Reception: Second Saturday, July 13, 5-8 pm, during the Village Art Walk
Please join us for an evening of light refreshments and to purchase your 10$ raffle ticket for a unique opportunity to win a beautiful autumn landscape created by several Guild Member Artists. (raffle winner will be drawn December 14, 2013; need not be present to win)
Wyatt LeGrand is an artist from southern Indiana. While growing up in the small, scenic town of Bloomfield, Wyatt soon became acknowledged by the community for his skills as an artist. After winning numerous art awards and honors as a boy, it became apparent that Wyatt would pursue a career in the arts.
Wyatt first began painting in oils while in college. He attained a degree in visual arts education from Indiana University, and also immersed himself in the study of art history and other art forms. He became an equally accomplished draftsman, ceramicist, sculptor, and metalsmith. However, it was painting with oils that thrilled him most.
After winning several awards at plein air painting competitions and becoming recognized as one of Indiana’s most promising young artists, Wyatt decided he needed to pursue his passion for painting full-time. In 2009, he opened LeGrand Art Studio and Gallery just outside his hometown of Bloomfield. The studio has become a popular destination for local art lovers and a hub for the area’s art community. “The studio is where I feel most comfortable. I go there every day feeling totally motivated and inspired. How could I not? The studio is where I can pursue my strongest passions: making art, studying art, and teaching art. I am very fortunate to be able to do what I love.”
Wyatt’s passion for painting is matched only by his passion to teach. His desire to share his knowledge and skill with students of all ages has led to many teaching opportunities and rewarding experiences as an educator. It is Wyatt’s intent to continue pursuing opportunities as an educator, whether it is in the public school arena, artist workshops or from his own studio.
Wyatt has been a member artist at the Brown County Art Guild since the 2011.
Artist’s Statement: “There’s nothing too complicated about what I do; I just pay attention to what I see. Whether it is the colors of a landscape, the shapes of an interior space, or the movement of a busy street, my painting reflects the need to preserve desirable aesthetic experiences and communicate my human response to the subject before me. I say let things be spontaneous… paint what interests you, paint what confuses you, paint anything you wish as long as you paint more quickly than slowly, as the moment won’t last forever.
I prefer not to become comfortable in painting according to a particular fashion or style and I do not contemplate how I put paint to canvas, I simply try to arrange colors side-by-side so that they most closely represent the experience of seeing them first hand. My painting methods change regularly, but I have found I always work best while painting from direct observation. There is something fantastic about painting the world as you see it naturally, recording the subject as fast as your eyes can pass over it, avoiding unnecessary detail but paying special attention to light and shapes of color. Painting this way, with the intent of capturing a visual experience, evokes in me a certain type of emotional resonance that I find most appealing.
As Edward Hopper brilliantly stated, “If you could say it in words there would be no reason to paint,” and I agree completely, as my painting is a means of communicating all of those wordless experiences, emotions, and occurrences as a witness to this life. Painting must after all be its own language, a method of articulating the innermost expressions of the artist…a way of demonstrating a profound interest and appreciation of the magnificent world around us. My inspiration and drive comes from nothing other than the experience of putting brush to canvas, letting the things I see before me flow from eye to heart to hand to brush. These actions, as they occur, bring with them a certain anxiety, excitement, and satisfaction that I cannot find elsewhere. This is why I paint…to keep those feelings suspended in action…to keep my spirit alive.”
Roger Merkel was born in East Chicago, Indiana in 1949. As a kid growing up in the fifties, Roger was influenced by the work of America’s great illustrators. He read books with illustrations by the likes of N.C. Wyeth and Maxfield Parrish. And, of course, Norman Rockwell’s work was everywhere, from magazine covers to toothpaste ads.
Roger worked at U.S. Steel in Gary while attending school and began a career in law enforcement in 1971. In 1973, he became a Deputy U.S. Marshal for the District of Columbia and the following year he was sworn in as Deputy U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of Indiana, a post that he held for ten years. He then worked for the U.S. Treasury Department as a criminal investigator until his retirement in 1989, when he began painting on a full-time basis. Roger now lives in Indianapolis with his wife, Ginger.
Roger remembers being impressed by the artists of his youth, not only by their superb draughtsmanship, but with their ability to tell an entire story with a single image. That is a difficult goal to achieve, but it is the one Roger has set for himself. He particularly enjoys the challenge of assembling props, models, and costumes to create scenes which evoke other times and other places. He quips that “It takes no more time or talent to paint a woman in a beautiful Victorian gown than to paint the same woman wearing a pair of blue jeans.”
Roger has won many significant awards for his paintings. The 86th Annual Hoosier Salon exhibit, 2010, at the Indiana State Museum, awarded Merkel’s War Bride with the Outstanding Oil Painting prize, and Summers in the Hamptons took Best Figurative. Roger Merkel has been an artist member of the Brown County Art Guild since 2006.
For more information contact: