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Interview with Ed Obermeyer

Hi Ed,

Thank you for sitting down with Art Scene Hampton Roads. First I would like to wish you well in retirement. Can we really call it that though? It seems I see you pretty busy all around town.

This is not retirement! I was working full time as an art teacher for VBCPS and full time as an artist/painter. I Loved them both so very much but the art shows just took off beyond my expectations and so I had to make a choice. As much as I loved teaching, especially at Ocean Lakes High School, I had to choose. After 34 years of teaching and an offer to retire now with a great retirement plan I started back in 1978, I was ready to end my teaching career on a high note and launch my new professional life as a painter. The choice so far has been more rewarding professionally and financially, than I expected.

Art Scene HR has been around about a year now but my interest in the local art scene took hold more than 10 years ago. What type of paintings were you doing in the late 90′s and early 2000′s?

My style changed dramatically from the 1990’s to the 2000’s! I went from a very realistic, somewhat cubist fragmented approach to realistic images of butterflies, poison frogs, and birds in tropical habitats to new kind of stye that totally reflects my own personal voice as an artist. I call it Post Aboriginal Modernism. It is influenced by my personal observations of nature in a variety of environments, but is also based on Australian Aboriginal dot painting, crosshatching, and storytelling, combined with brush techniques I use on motorcycles, helmets, and cars with pinstripe brushes and script liner brushes. I finally feel that I have achieved that “personal voice” in art making that we all search our entire lives for. This style of painting brings me a great deal of peace and harmony.

My relationship with Alfredo Arreguin in Seattle, Washington has helped me grow tremendously as well. Him and I are true “Pattern Painters”. We try to reveal and conceal things in the patterns in our works of art. His input and inspiration have been essential to my growth and development as a professional artist.

Traveling to new places is always an exciting visual feast. Where have you been the last couple of years and what influenced your new work?

Sailing the Grennadine Islands and going to Australia for three weeks certainly changed everything in my new style of Post Aboriginal Modernism. My wife and I saw so many amazing things in both places that became the sources of inspiration for all of my work today. I loved visiting all the different aboriginal artists in Australia and discussing their techniques for symbolism, mark making, and story telling. Alice Springs in central Australia changed everything. It was there that I got to jam on stage with a didgeridoo rock star, and discuss art making with true Aborigines. What a life changing time that was!

The last couple of years I have been doing art shows most every weekend. Contrary to what my fellow artists said to do, I get involved in so many different types of shows, small and large. Some are juried, some are not, however, it is important for me to get the exposure. In some of these shows, I have sold very little, however, about a week later, someone I met at a show may have a gallery and make me an offer to show there, or someone will call and want one of my originals or prints a week later. The biggest part of being successful in this business, and it is a business, is networking. It takes on many forms. It can include web interactions, small and large juried and non juried art shows, public speaking, or just plain old fashioned social events, but they are all important.

Ed, what is your event schedule for the summer. There may be some of our readers who haven’t yet had the opportunity to see your unique work.

July 1-30 Slantwall Gallery in Glen Allen, VA
August 9′ Old Coast Guard Station Virginia Beach Surfing Centennial, 24th st., 4pm-11pm
Saturday, August 25, 10am-5pm, Hunt Club Farm Art Show 10am-5pm
Sept. 28-30, Neptune show on boardwalk, 10am-5pm each day
Sat., oct. 6-Ocean Park volunteer rescue squad art show on shore drive, 10am-4pm thru Sunday
Speaking engagement-Ches. Bay Art Assoc., Tues., Oct. 16
Oct. 20-21-Stockley Gardens, Norfolk

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One comment on “Interview with Ed Obermeyer

  1. Alfredo m. Arreguin on said:

    Thank you, brother, Ed for giving me credit for influencing your beautiful and meaningful work, Alfredo

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