Artist: Kyle Rogers

Hometown: Charleston, SC (live in Birmingham now)

Art History: I’ve been compelled to create art in some form ever since I can remember. I moved to Washington, DC right out of college in 1989 to work for a Congressman and enjoyed entertaining friends with political and satirical cartoons. Work eventually got in the way and I found myself creating less.

A few years after moving to DC, I became a lobbyist and started traveling. Gradually a few trips a year turned into 300 days a year. About 15 years ago while in the midst of this rigorous travel pace, I started drawing to pass the time on planes. I found myself drawn to art and visited art galleries all over the country whenever I would find a few spare hours on the road.

One day in 2014, I was visiting a gallery in New Orleans. I asked the gentlemen working at the gallery if I could draw one of the paintings, not realizing I was asking the artist. He kindly permitted me to draw his work, after which we talked at length and he encouraged me to take up painting.

I returned to DC and began my very first painting. I completed about three or four over the next few months. A few months later, I returned to New Orleans for another work trip. Only this time, my life was forever changed. I suffered a Grade 3 electrical block in my heart only hours after my arrival. Thinking I was having a stroke, I begged for some help and a sweet young couple came to my aide. Before I knew it, I was being rushed to the nearest ICU and received an emergency pacemaker. I didn’t quite realize it at the time, but I could have died if those Samaritans had ignored me. They were my angels.

After this traumatic experience, I knew I had to make some changes. I dove into art (primarily drawing and painting) as a way to relax. Soon, I was actually painting on planes to de-stress during travel. I found myself making lots of friends on the road as I entertained passengers and crew with my art creations, often leaving my art with them as a parting gift. Before long, it became a passion.

I finally gave up the DC lobbyist job and all the stress that went with it to move to Birmingham. But I didn’t give up my love of creating art. I just kept right on painting, refining my technique and continuing to connect with people as I let my soul speak through my creations.

Style

I don’t really have a style… I just create. I see art in the the marble tile of a hotel shower, in the reflections of the sun on the pavement, in roots popping up from the dirt… literally everywhere. It is as if I am still a kid staring up at the clouds trying to find people or animals in them.

Some of my favorite things to paint are people in scenery, the emotions found in faces, various music scenes, cowboys and all kinds of horses. But really, I just paint whatever comes to me. When I put the first mark of paint on a canvas, I just see something and off I go.

Inspiration

Life is my inspiration. My memories are imprinted with the many people, faces and sceneries I have seen through my many years of travel. These memories and the experiences I collected along the way, with a bit of my own inner child, inspire the images I reflect in my art.

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