Welcome & Let’s Make Art!
18 News’ Zach Wheeler is embarking on a new journey. In his brand new digital series “Let’s Make Art,” Zach takes on the challenge of learning how to paint like a professional artist.
We’ve enlisted the help of renowned local artist and teacher – Marc Rubin. Follow as Marc guides Zach as he learns the classical technique of oil painting.
You can learn too! We encourage you to try your hand at painting. We’ll be posting tips right here and ways you can share your works of art.
So join Zach Wheeler and – “Let’s Make Art”
About the Artist
“Hold your breath. Longer… longer. Now, take that awaited breath. That is what painting feels like to me: a wonderful, lung filling, invigorating, vital, fresh breath of life.
I paint Saturdays, Sundays and any day off work that I am able. When life does not allow me to paint, I miss it, so I doodle. It’s not as fulfilling, but at the same time it is a completely freeing experience. Doodling provides a discrete kind of artistic fun, and is sometimes cathartic in its expression.
Painting like most activities is a process (according to my Manager-of-Manufacturing, process-is-everything, brother Larry—but that is another story); for me it starts by putting on my painting jeans, worn and covered with paint from brush wipes. When they go on I feel the warmth start to flow throughout my body and mind, I know I am going to paint. Pants = Painting. I usually grab a cup of coffee and head up to my “painting space,” walk in, close the door and put on some mellow jazz or adagio classical music.
Still life is my genre. I invariably paint from life. I avoid using photos 99 percent of the time. I am always looking for inspiring subjects/objects; weathered, clearly used, life-worn artifacts. Sometimes a grouping of fruit or vegetables, interestingly juxtaposed will grab my attention. Sometimes it’s a highlight that will catch my glance as I stroll through a grocery store or a farmer’s vegetable stand. Often in a ‘Walter Mitty’ way, a narrative will play out in my imagination. Sometimes the color of a piece of fruit begs me to paint it and, while painting, the narrative unfolds.
For the past few years, I have been intrigued with taxidermy animals. Many people ask why—why would you paint dead animals? Well, first of all, I am taken with their incredible grace and beauty, sometimes their intensity or their reputation. Second, they are a fun challenge to paint, and third I love giving them a new life, another chance to be recognized as an amazing creature that once walked our planet.
Why do I paint? Why do we breathe? Why do we love? Why do we melt when our children or grandchildren run up and give us a hug or a kiss and tell us they love us? Why do we ask? For me it is a magnificent gift of joy that I do not question, but am ineffably grateful for.”
Artist Statement prepared for Arnot Art Museum