Richard Conrad Rooker
My art education came from the art books my father would bring home for me when returning from work in New York City. It came from spending years at the Art Institute in Chicago standing in awe of all the great artists, wishing I could paint like that. It has come from lesson after lesson from instructional DVDs. But probably the single greatest educator was simply practice. Experimenting and failing with an occasional success and then trying to remember what I did right. At some point I learned to keep records.
I had been accepted at the Art Institute of Chicago but at the eleventh hour I decided to enter the school of Architectural Design at the Univ. of Illinois, Chicago Circle Campus. After graduation and a tour in Vietnam, I was destined for a career in Engineering. My art was to be a past time, my private world away from the harshness of life.
After retiring from my working career in 2011, I decided to apply myself to my watercolor and art work with greater dedication, and have been rewarded beyond my hopes and wishes. I have taken great joy in completing several commissions for friends and family and continue to reach out to the art loving community.
My engineering background and aptitudes have dictated that my art should follow a rule of realism, and so it did. Then only recently did I come to realize, after experiencing some really great watercolor paintings, that a painting doesn’t have to look like something but rather it needs to feel like something. And to that end I am endeavoring to relax my style and techniques, having the courage to let the medium do its will rather than hold it in confine.