"Four Arts Sake"
Art has always interested me. I like looking at it, I like creating it, I have more ideas for art than I could produce in five life times.
I pursued woodcarving for over 40 years. I was an active member of the Kansas City woodcarvers Club and served as their President. Overland the years I attended numerous seminars with noted instructors to improve my skill level. In 2012 I added two dimensional art by attending studio classes with lee Hammond. She helped me to draw, and paint better.
I am a member of the Senior Arts Council and I am an artist at Images Gallery on 80th St. in old Overland Park where I learn from every artist I have met.
More than anything else I paint at least 12 hours or more every week. Practice, practice, practice. Some of the paintings shown here were painted at the Rehab unit in Aberdeen while my wife was recovering from pelvis fractures.
Creativity=an idea, a pleasing design and craftsmanship.
I started teaching myself how to draw and paint about 15 years ago. Beginning with graphite drawings then colored pencil, followed by watercolors, pen and ink. Eventually the use of liquid and paste acrylics. Since I had learned each medium separately, I also learned how to combine them in order to bring about a painting that is full of color, depth and detail.
Topics of interest come from my own love of nature and how it seems to work through decay and consumption to bring back unto itself the things that man has built.
My desire when I create a piece, is to have it allow people to stand back andappreciate it as a whole. Still I want it to draw people in order to discover the beauty of fine line and detail.
I began painting watercolors when I retired and my passion is painting military aircraft. I especially like to talk to those who flew in them and to hear their stories. Most of my paintings are based on these discussions and the colors, nose art and markings are from their aircraft so each painting has a story. These stories have given me the opportunity to see just how brave these young men were and the great responsibilities they were given when many were not much more than teenagers.
My wife Stella and I donate all of the artist’s proceeds from the sale of my prints and paintings to the Heartland Honor Flight, the Tuskegee Airmen Youth Fund, The Heart of America Patriot Foundation, Folds of Honor and various related causes. It is our way of saying thank you to those who served.
I suspect I paint art that tries to honor our military for the following reasons. I was a small boy during World War II and I remember practicing “black outs” and watching “America Goes to War Newsreels” at the movies filled with the exploits of our fighting men. Everyone was involved in the war effort in some small way as we saved tinfoil off gum wrappers, cooking grease and scrap metal and experienced rationing.
We believed in our country and what we were doing and I still remember saying the Pledge of Allegiance with my hand over my heart facing the flag in the corner of my classroom. All of us kids brought pennies, nickels and dimes to school to the best of our ability to buy War Savings Stamps. Our goal was to fill an eighteen dollar and seventy-five cent booklets to purchase a twenty-five-dollar war bond.
But of all the sacrifices and images, what I remember most are the World War II aircraft trading cards that came in packages of Wings Cigarettes that some kids had on the playground. I loved those planes and those who flew in them. Now I try to paint them.
R. Gregory Summers
Driven by Creation, Inspired by the Experience
Born in the Flint Hills, R. Gregory Summers began his professional career at Hallmark Cards, Inc. A former Master Engraver, he travels the country to paint en plein air. He has served the artistic community as a Vice President of the Greater Kansas City Artists Association and a co-founder of the Missouri Valley Impressionist Society, as well as a co-founder of the Brush Creek Art Walk painting competition in Kansas City, Missouri.
Chosen in 2017 by the top American art publications for the “Artists of the New Century” exhibit at the Bennington Art Gallery, Summers has embraced the world of painting outdoors, winning awards from coast to coast alongside the nations best plein air and studio artists. Summers teaches painting workshops across the country as well as teaching staff at the Plein Air Convention and Expo.
“Some go outdoors to enjoy the land, while others stay inside to avoid it. It is I, an outdoor artist, who brings the outside in.”