What’s on your bucket list? Skydiving, African safari, see Holland in bloom? I have not yet made my list, but a few things I think I would start with would be to summer in Italy, busk on Jackson Square in New Orleans and maybe write a song with The Avett Brothers. One can dream. However, this month’s artist, Craig Stevens, says that the things on his bucket list are to write a book or poetry or anything else he can create that will last longer than he does. He feels that he has had plenty of experiences. His aspirations are all about producing something from within himself.
Craig started painting in high school and then helped pay his way through college, as an artist at the University of Tennessee. Now living in Franklin, he is an engineer, which fits his personality well. He is a very reserved, highly intelligent “Dockers and Polos” kind of guy. Ok, I don’t really know what the labels on his clothes say, but you know what I mean. My point is, you do not really see the artist in Craig, until your eyes meet what he can put onto a canvas. It is quite impressive and very eclectic. Craig is a realistic, surrealistic, impressionistic and abstract artist. He prefers realism over all. He wants his paintings to appear like a photo. I asked him why he doesn’t just do photography. “I like to take what would be in a picture and make it better,” he said. “I take out parking lots and add more trees and country.“ He does not care to paint portraits, because it takes a lot more thought and effort. Craig likes art to not to feel like work. He says he works enough, and painting is a Craig’s method for lowering stress.
My favorite painting of Craig’s is the scene from Little Shop of Horrors (pictured right). I think he did an excellent job, and I was impressed by it so much that I have put him in contact with the TPAC to paint a piece for their upcoming show Million Dollar Quartet. It will be displayed during the show and auctioned off for charity. I’m hoping that this is just the beginning of a theatrical series from him. Craig says he likes to paint what people like so that it feels like home. I’m not sure that the threat of being eaten by a bloodthirsty plant from outer space feels like home to me, nor is that on my bucket list; but I sure would like it to be hanging in my home. One can dream.