This week I had the pleasure to meet Kevin, Wanda, and MooShu MacPherson at his presentation at the Brentwood Library sponsored by the Chestnut Group. I've been a huge fan of his work ever since I learned about plein air painting seven years ago.
And though I think of Kevin as one of the best plein air painters in the world today, his portraits blew me away.
From an article by Cindy Salaski on The Artists Network
During his presentation he taught us to be authentic. We think of all the great Masters we'd love to emulate, but why be a second-rate someone else? Be an original YOU.
Kevin encouraged us to invest in ourselves and our painting skills to create our own paths and speak our unique voice.
The only way to improve is to paint. Paint. Paint. Paint. Paint.
He told us the story of painting for his book "Reflections on a Pond." And said it was good he did not have commercial or gallery commitments so that he had the time to explore and go to the next level.
He told us painting is simple, but not easy. The trick is to separate light from shadow.
Other words of wisdom included, "Paint small. 6 x 8. Then push to paint BIG."
He encouraged us to sketch thumbnail compositions before painting. And encouraged us to experiment, as he did when he moved to China for six months, not knowing anyone there or how to speak Chinese, and spent his time painting portraits.
And of course, he gives back. Kevin founded the non-profit Art Ambassador For A Colorful World.
We believe art has the power to change the world. It inspires individuals and brings together entire communities. Art Ambassador helps children and adults express their vision of the world through art. When children draw and paint, a creative spark is ignited. They are able to develop life skills like cooperation, confidence and leadership. Art provides a colorful retreat from everyday life bringing joy and laughter to kids and the communities that delight in them.
In 2009, Kevin participated in a TV Show called Passport and Palette on PBS.
It was also a joy to speak with his lovely wife Wanda and spend a few moments petting their adorable pup MooShu.