What is your name: Derek McCrea
Do you have a formal art education or are you a self taught artist: I have not been trained in a college setting but have had years of instruction from my mother who was an art teacher.
What is the style of your pieces: Impressionistic
What is the medium in which you work: Watercolors, oils and acrylics
What started you on your path as an artist: My mother taught me to paint in oils from 1980 to 1987. I participated in art shows starting when I was 11 years old and won 1st place at a major State Art Competition in Georgia in 1984. I joined the military in 1987 and continued self teaching among many masters throughout Europe painting en plein air.
What is one of the most important things that art has brought to your life: Balance! My career is as a Soldier. My two hobbies include painting and offshore fishing. Both of which are very relaxing and allow me to express myself. Creating art for me is a way of life. Something I enjoy.
What is your favorite genre of art besides the one you work in: I am fascinated by what artists can do with pastels. The realistic animal paintings I have seen in pastel from some of my artist friends are so realistic.
Do you have art showings, and if so what are they typically like: I do the local Art on Broadway every Saturday morning. It is nice being amongst other artists. I enjoy gallery shows about once per month and love socializing with customers and have created many good contacts this way. No show is a bad show even if I do not sell anything.
Do you have a certain set of clothes you make art in: dirty t-shirts–because if they are not dirty when I start they will be.
What has been the most frustrating part of being an artist? Gaining repsect for the watercolor medium. I paint in all mediums, but have had people say “that is a really nice print” about a watercolor that took me a month to paint, and then say “wow, that is my favorite” about an oil that took me 30 minutes to slap on the canvas. It does get annoying.
What is your favorite sandwich of all time: pimento and cheese
Has this year brought about any changes in your work, and if so what are they: I have treid to create more square works for the decor market, and some larger works for the hospitality market. Before this year all of my works were rectangular in shape. I have also tried to create in style colors to go with the furniture that is hot currently.
Who is your favorite artist alive or dead: My mom, she is an amazing artist.
What is the most moving piece of artwork that you have seen in person: The Trevi Fountain in Rome
Do you have any animals, and what do they think of your work: I have two shih-tzus and a cat; they try to play with me when I am painting but have learned to stay away. I slowed down my painting with oils due to animals and children years ago but have slowly started to pink up oils again now that my children have grown older.
Do you have any upcoming exhibitions you would like to share with us:
My work is currently at the Catawampus Art Gallery in Opelika AL until mid September and I have works at the Front Porch Gallery in Columbus, GA year round