30 Nov Stephenson Showcase: Rodney Reveal’s Exhibit “Come and See Art by Me”
J. Rodney Reveal has been a creator of fine art for more than forty years. His paintings are represented in public and private collections throughout the United States, Europe, and Brazil. Collectors include country vocalists as well as the Grand Canyon Association, which purchased his painting of Bright Angel Trail and Kolb Photography Studio where it is on display for all to view.
Art has always been floating around Rodney in one way or another. From a grade school classmate drawing Rodney’s attention with their sketches to a high school art teacher inspiring his creativity. At age 16 he started working part time at the local fire department during the summers. Back in those days, you could go on emergency runs if you were paid. “It was fun as hell.” That summer job turned into a career spanning 30 years for the Noblesville Fire Department. In his later years as a firefighter, Rodney would paint at the station, and in the last few years, he found himself painting most of the time.
Although his art career began with watercolors and continued for 40 years, Rodney turned to oil about eight years ago. “It was a financial decision, though I try to do a few major watercolors a year.” His exhibit will feature mostly his latest oil works, but there will be a few watercolor as well.
“We love the West, so I [paint] a lot of Arizona, Wyoming—the West is so different from here.” Rodney often works from photos, plein air when he can, and he also paints from his imagination. There was a period of time when he and his wife lived on a farm and she was wildlife rehabber. “We had a lot of that around; [I] enjoy [painting] wildlife. We found a few raccoons and the next thing you know we’re doing rehab. Squirrels always liked me better because I’m a little nutty, I guess. [When we} moved to town, [we] didn’t think people wanted skunks around.” While he is still painting wildlife, they are no longer crawling on his shoulder.
Fellow studio artist Lesley Haflich has a saying that Rodney really does take to heart, “Sometimes you like to let them percolate.” While he considers himself a pretty fast painter, Rodney warns that you can get so involved that you don’t really see what you’re creating. He will sit and look at a painting just as much as he works on a painting. “One of the perfect things of being here [in the studio] is that we feed off of one another. If we’re working on something, we ask each other about what bothers them, not that I always do what they say, but sometimes they’re right. A new eye helps. If you’re in a studio by yourself, it’s hard to do that.”
He also depends on the comfort and company of his dog, Thunder, “I was painting standing up most of the time, but [now] I sit so I can rub Thunder’s belly.”
“In my paintings, I try to translate my feelings of a place or an object onto paper with the same emotional impact that I receive when I experience it. I am finished with a painting when it’s sold.” See Rodney’s exhibit, “Come and See Art by Me” in the Stephenson House December 3 through the 31st during regular business hours. Meet Rodney at his open house reception on Sunday, December 5th from 3pm to 6pm on the Nickel Plate Arts Campus.