Impressions-and observations. We all make them when we encounter something or someone for the first time. Sometimes impressions are strong, and on target. Sometimes impressions and observations mislead at first, only to lead to the truth later.
Painter Skip Rohde trusts his impressions. His years of training and his natural attention to fine detail allow him to capture a likeness of a person in his figurative paintings. By observing something of the personality, he transfers what he intuits to his canvas. Noticing details is imperative: the shape of the face, the eyes, wrinkles around the mouth, the tilt of the head, and some of the unconscious things we do are all part of getting a good likeness in a portrait. But it is also partially instinctual and a learned factor in trusting your abilities as an artist.
Skip has always been an artist, but he pursued another lifetime career before he could spend quality time at his art. He is a retired US Navy officer, and after serving 22 years, he relocated to Western NC and went back to school, completing a Bachelors degree in Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina, Asheville. Then the State Department called and he packed up and went to Iraq for 18 months to manage reconstruction projects around that country. Next, he went to Afghanistan for a year, helping to assist in local government reorganization.
Now, having been back at home for a number of years, Rohde is fully settled into his work as an Asheville artist. But interesting opportunities still find him. Skip has been called upon to be a courtroom artist for Asheville’s TV station. His paintings have won recognition and awards in national and regional exhibitions. The Smithsonian Museum of American History has his "Faces of Afghanistan" drawings in their permanent collection. Skip teaches workshops and offers weekly life-drawing sessions in his studio for interested painters in the region.
Skip Rohde has a large studio space in a historic industrial building a few miles out of downtown Asheville. The French Broad River is a short walk away, and neighbor businesses are eclectic and varied. Go with Art Connections to meet Skip and see for yourself the personalities he has captured on canvas.