Many artists learn and define their style and aesthetic from years of rigorous art school training, apprenticeships, and the like. Although the traditional route of success through schooling has …
Many artists learn and define their style and aesthetic from years of rigorous art school training, apprenticeships, and the like. Although the traditional route of success through schooling has shaped many an artist, the nontraditional path can lead to a raw and non-conforming result, completely outside the mainstream.
Craig Rogers is widely regarded by many, including himself, as an “outsider artist.”
Though hard to define, outsider artists are generally known as creators who receive no formal training and demonstrate little influence from the mainstream art world, and are motivated to shape pieces through their own unique and personal visions.
“I think art, for me, is a lot of getting into yourself and discovering what your mind can do,” Rogers said.
With his vibrant, dream-like pieces currently displayed in Northwind Art’s Grover Gallery on Taylor Street, Rogers has found fame for his creative pursuits, but it wasn’t always that way.
“I just kind of painted some when I was in [grade] school and got criticized a lot,” Rogers recalled. “I never started off being good at art or anything.”
Rogers enjoyed painting and sketching in his adolescent years, but there was a different creative lane that piqued his interest; jazz.
“My brother was a jazz musician. He got me into it; he was a trumpet player,” Roger said. “I was being trained as a jazz musician at Westminster [College] in Utah.”
Rogers enjoyed the jazz musician life as a drummer in his brother’s band. Although he did a few gigs and had fun, Rogers didn’t have the same passion for jazz as his brother.
Later on in life, in the 1980s, Rogers returned to Port Townsend where he rekindled his fondness of painting and sketching. Beyond grade-school memories, Rogers was never taught any technique or foundation in art; instead he followed his own vision as an artist.
Cut to current times, jazz plays a major influence in Rogers’ artwork, along with nature, city streets and buildings, and any other place that comes to mind. His style is hard to describe, shaped in an abstract, yet grounded, tone. Sloping cityscapes are meshed with vivid combinations of colors and shapes across the canvas.
Most recently, Rogers has found his painting happy place at Gatheringplace, a nonprofit with locations around the Peninsula where people with various disabilities are able to congregate and enjoy each other’s company while making art. “There’s different people with different types of disabilities; we all do art,” said Rogers, who has spina bifida.
To see Rogers’ artwork on display, visit the Grover Gallery in Port Townsend. To see more of his art, visit Rogers’ Instagram page at www.instagram.com/craig.w.rogers/?hl=en.
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