Congratulations to our December Artist of the Month, David Larkins! He was a finalist in The Artist’s Magazine‘s Annual Art Competition! His painting Let There Be Light is below. Read more about how the artist uses light and unusual vantage points to tell a more compelling, painterly story!
My parents recognized my drawing talent when I was five-years-old and sent me to a private art instructor; the rest is history. I worked at Ford Motor as an illustrator for 33 years but I’ve had a working studio my entire career, doing what I love: painting! I started in with oils in the 1960’s and switched to watercolors in college. Once I became a Signature Member of the National Watercolor Society in 2004 I switched to acrylics.
I consider myself as an abstract realist. I love to expose people to abstraction placed in a realistic setting, making it more relatable.
I was inspired to make Let There Be Light from walking up the spiral staircase inside Point Betsie Lighthouse in Frankfort, Michigan. Aqua and blue hues washed and danced throughout the stucco walls of the window reflecting from Lake Michigan 50 feet below. Michigan’s state stone, the Petoskey stone, sits on the window sill as a reminder that this is pure Michigan! Painting the subtleties of direct and reflected light is my favorite challenge as an artist. I must be keenly and always aware of the play of lights constantly changing values and hues. Combine my desire to paint unusual compositional views with dramatic lighting and you get a unique and rich painting that revels a perpetual look to the viewers’ eye.
The composition and drawing are the two most important aspects of a painting–atmosphere and light are the follow-up that makes it all come together. Art is a language and I must speak to the viewer through it.
I want to thank my professors–Ted Vasser taught me the technical and compositional side of painting and Gary Wilson taught me the “Content” side of painting.
I had entered and won an honorable mention in 2002 and in October of 2004 The Artist’s Magazine published a feature story on me. I’ve subscribed to The Artist’s Magazine for many years and have passed on what I’ve learned to my students. I recently turned 60 and entered the Over 60 Competition. Never stop trying!