01 Oct Hub & Spoke: Brad Fields’ Exhibit “The Thorpe Creek Landscape in Fishers”
Brad Fields’ painting style follows in the footsteps of the American Masters of Watercolor like Winslow Homer, Chet Reneson, Andrew Wyeth and contemporaries like Mario A. Robinson, Rob Evans and Dean Mitchell. His paintings are full of realistic details and loose flowing “glorious messes” that characterize the medium.
Born in Muncie, Indiana, Brad’s high school years were spent hanging out with a unique group of guys who had uncanny artistic abilities. Their art teacher suggested Herron’s Saturday art classes, and after many cramped 7am car rides, Brad was inspired to enroll at Herron School of Art at IUPUI to put his talents to the test. However, in his mind, fine art was more experimental than he was ready for; he needed to make a living so he landed on the graphic design track. After graduating from Herron with BFA in Visual Communications, he spent the next 28 years managing and owning various signage, printing, and graphic arts companies.
Watercolor was a summer hobby that he played with for 17 years, until Brad got to a point in his life where he really wanted to make it as an artist. In 2003, he built a home in Fishers resting on Thorpe Creek where he found himself painting the hills and the changes of the seasons. When Instagram came on the scene, Brad became exposed to other artists’ work which inspired him to try new things. As he got more ambitious, he wanted to paint water scenes, his credo being “bloom where you are planted. There’s real beauty [here] that a lot of people don’t get to see.” Brad draws similarities, “Andrew Wyeth had two homes and painted his entire career in a handful of miles from his home.”
Frequently, Brad participates in Plein Air competitions which continue to push him creatively. “There’s nothing like drawing or painting from life. It makes you smarter about your choices and how much you can bite off at a time.” But he does love a challenge. “You must complete a [watercolor] painting in your mind before you execute it. You have to hold onto light colors, [painting] in the light first [then] surround it with the dark. You have to have a clear picture as opposed to oil where you can layer and add in lighter colors over dark.”
“I think of myself as a painter, and watercolor is the tool kit I use to produce the painting.”
Brad’s exhibit, “The Thorpe Creek Landscape in Fishers” at Hub & Spoke is on display from October 1through December 29 and can be seen Monday-Friday 8:30am to 5pm and on Saturday from 10am to 1pm. Meet him at his reception, along with artists from High Frequency Arts, on December 10from 5pm to 8:30pm at Hub & Spoke, located at 8100 E. 106th Street in Fishers.
“Watercolor allows me to get those happy accidents that are thrown down on paper articulating the form flawlessly – a miracle if there ever was one.” Brad continues, “I want to entice your eye with realistic details so that when you really look closely – what you see is actually very abstract. I don’t want my work to look like photographs – I want to draw you in, leaving you with something to chew on visually.”