Rodgers Naylor


Oil Painter, Conifer, Colorado

Rodgers Naylor grew up on a farm in Maryland and has since lived on the east coast and in the Midwest before moving in early 2001 to the mountains of Colorado, where he now lives with his wife Ellen. Rodgers studied drawing at The Atelier in Minneapolis and painting at the Art Students League in Denver.  At The Atelier he studied that program’s focus on classical realism and its rigorous approach to accurate draftsmanship, working from live models in the studio.  At the Art Students League he studied a loose and painterly approach to oil painting, also working mostly from life.  These two periods of study have greatly helped to define Rodgers’ style of painting today.  “I want the drawing aspect of my work to be accurate and believable, and the light to be understandable, but I want the color and brushwork to be expressive.”

Rodgers paints both in the studio and en plein air, and continues to draw and paint the figure from life, a practice he considers essential to maintain one’s skills.  Although many works are done in the studio, it is the foundation of plein-air and life work which makes the studio painting possible.  Even the studio work is generally done “alla prima”, i.e. in one painting session.  This is not an unbreakable rule however, and if a painting later needs a glaze of transparent color, some adjustment to color or light, or even a whole new layer of paint, then so be it.

When evaluating a scene for painting, Rodgers looks for two essential things:  first, at an abstract level, a pleasing arrangement of light, medium and dark shapes, and second:  some human interest, a mood, orthe possibility to imagine a story.  These elements may be present in a wide range of subjects.  Rodgers prefers to leave some things unsaid in his paintings, the better to allow each viewer to apply his/her own experience and imagination to complete the experience.  Each painting is considered an invitation to enter the scene and explore its possibilities.

Rodgers studied art at: Minneapolis College of Art and Design, The Ateiler (Minneapolis) and the Art Student League of Denver.

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