Roy Elmer displays his painting of sunflowers prior to a February show in Jackson. It was the first major show in this area for Elmer, who divides his time between Milan and St. Albany, W.Va.
|On display in foreign lands,
owned by celebrities.
Paintings of West Tennessee
native are sought universally.
|Roy Elmer was born in Union City in 1939.
As a child he spent weekends drawing the trees and flowers in the woods that surrounded
his childhood home.
After graduating from Grove High School in Paris in 1957, he studied art and graphic design at the John McCrady School of Art in New Orleans. He also has studied with Jose Parramon at Esuela Masana in Barcelona.
Additionally, he has studied with and attended workshops by such notables as Carl Thorpe, Lee Fraley, Edgar Whitney and Robert Wood.
He spent more than 20 years in the commercial art field, including 17 years as art director for a large retail chain in new Orleans, before devoting full time to his painting.
Elmer and his wife now make their home in Milan but they spend several months of the year on the Mississippi and Ohio rivers aboard the cruise ship River Barge Explorer where he is the resident artist. He also has a studio in St. Albans, W.Va.
He had his first one-man show in 1967 in New Orleans. His paintings have been included in many major national and regional shows and exhibitions.
He is a member of the Boca Grande Art Alliance, a founding member of the Ohio River Federation of Artists and Craftsmen.
Over the year's Elmer's colorful landscapes and still lifes have come to the attention of critics and gallery owners. His work is in many public, private, corporate and museum collections throughout the United States and several foreign countries.
He is currently represented by the D&J Gallery in Milan, the Serendipity Gallery in Boca Grande, Fla., Mountaineer Gallery in Charleston, W.Va., and New Orleans Art Services in New Orleans.
Among those owning Elmer's paintings are personalities such as actors Morgan Freeman, Kelly McGillis and Nicholas Cage, chef Paula Dean, writer Anne Rice and NASCAR drivers Cale Yarborough and A.J. Foyt.
An inveterate sketcher, Elmer can always be found with sketch book or easel close at hand. The winter months restrict his range to his studio, but most of the time he can be found in the midst of the rural and mountain landscapes that he loves.
For me art is more than a mere hobby or a profession it has become my way of thinking. The colors and shapes that surround me everyday become the colors and shapes of my work.
"My favorite subjects are accidentally found still lifes and landscapes. The little gifts that nature hands out everyday are especially important in my paintings. I have been cross pollinating my art and life since childhood."
Elmer's paintings take the viewer on a mystical journey. These intimate reflections on nature create a place that is so intriguing one is inspired to take their own voyage in the boundaries of his paintings.
The world discovered is one of expansive mountains and pensive bodies of water where moments of quietude are abundant within a colorful sanctuary. With warmth, charm and grace, Elmer captures those quiet, fleeting everyday moments that just don't last.
"It is important to me that my work be accessible to all kinds of people," Elmer said. "My parents were in the restaurant business in Paris during the forties and fifties so I was raised in a working class environment.
Elmer said some of his paintings are subjects he remembers as a child growing up in this area.
"A good example is that of the painting I did of the old Airplane Service Station that used to be on Mineral Wells Avenue. I have always wanted the kind of people that I grew up with to relate to and enjoy my work."
|This painting should spark memories for older Parisians. The gas station was built in 1933 at the intersection of Mineral Wells Avenue and Memorial Drive - The location of Walgreens today. The station, which became a local landmark, was considered " way out in the country" by many at the time.|
|Many families were still picking cotton by hand from their fields in the 1940s in Northwest Tennessee. Today's wide-spread use of machinery makes the job less tedious and much quicker.|
Reprinted from The Paris
June 7, 2006 Edition
Used by permission
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