Back in January, I was contacted by an oil painter, Pete Rogers. He'd been following my work for a year, and decided to reach out - he wanted to paint me! In fact, he'd seen my modeling work along with my own artwork, and wanted to do something more than just paint me; he wanted to work together on some exciting new project.
It's hard to be brief about Pete's accomplishments; he's an oil painter living in New England with quite the extensive background:
After graduating from Harvard where he studied government, he went to sea for four years. Pete served aboard the Coast Guard Icebreakers, and as a diver for three years in the Arctic and the Antarctic. During his time aboard various vessels, he grew fascinated with the industrial machinery, and marine imagery. He began to paint and create both personal work and advertisements based on these images. His work places a strong focus on realism, capturing how the lights and shadows create shapes and deep color with both metal, and water.
In 1971, Pete left the service as First Class Quartermaster, and went on to receive his MBA from Northeastern University, a member of the business honor society. Pete became a full-time painter in 1976, and was the second President of the American Society of Marine Artists, and a Fellow of ASMA for 20 years, serving as Vice President in later years. He has had paintings in numerous exhibitions and part of permanent collections in museums, including the U.S. Congress, the Peabody Essex Museum of Salem, and the Mariners Museum.
Over the years, Pete has broadened his subject matter to include people, landscapes, industrial subjects, waterfalls, rapids, forests, still lives, cityscapes, and figure painting.
I read Pete's impressive and diverse bio, and took a look at his work from a brochure he sent along. I was impressed with his work, and immediately replied with a "Yes!"
I met with Pete and quickly began modeling for his upcoming paintings. In his studio, I model with different fabrics and pose under an array of multicolored lights while he snaps hundreds of photos which then serve as reference for his paintings. He doesn't consider himself a photographer, however, nor are his photographs part of his art; he simply uses these as a reference. However, once I learned how he works, we came up with the perfect collaboration: I'll take the reference photographs and whip them into digital art.
Pete loved the idea, and so the process began. Of course, producing completed oil paintings is a longer process, and our collaboration is ongoing. I've so far produced several digital works for our collaboration, and I'll give you a taste...
This is more than simply arranging the photos; I'm creating entirely new, unique images through a variety of techniques. There are many different styles I'm using in my work, and this is, as I said, just a taste!
In the future, we may produce a gallery show to exhibit the joining of our individual pieces into this colorful collaboration. We may also include videos showcasing the photography process, adding another conceptual layer of 'time' to this project.
This work has inspired me in so many ways, I can't wait to see where I go with this!