Featured Artist - Paul Rodenhauser
Please introduce yourself and describe your background
Creative expression has become a way of life since my arrival in New Mexico sixteen years ago. I was fortunate to have already retired from my academic position at Tulane University School of Medicine when Hurricane Katrina triggered the deluge in New Orleans. I was still teaching a few hours a week when the city flooded. After returning from mandatory evacuation and pursuing arrangements to restore damaged property, relocating to the higher ground became my top priority. My interests include painting, photography, pottery, ornamental poultry, landscape gardening, 19th-century literature, creative writing--and Musetta, my cat.
What is your earliest memory of creating art?
As a teenager, I dabbled with acrylics on just a few occasions before becoming caught up in a liberal arts education with an emphasis on science. Ultimately, I earned a doctorate in medicine and pursued residency education in psychiatry. During that fifty-year trajectory of preparing for and serving in the medical profession, I had only occasional free time to pursue creative interests. Photography fit in most easily.
Describe your primary medium and why you’ve chosen it for your artwork
Oils (on canvas) have been my only medium. I don’t recall selecting oils as a result of an active decision. Starting and sticking with oils was more a consequence of eliminating options that seemed less natural for me.
What other media have you used?
None, unless crayons count.
Describe your artwork in 10 words or less
Bringing nature, especially birds, to life on canvas is gratifying.
What inspires your work?
My passion for the natural environment is mainly birds but all forms of life.
If you could spend the day with any artist, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Claude Monet. I had the distinct pleasure of visiting his home and gardens in Giverny. The opportunity to reflect on Monet’s captivation with nature and art--and their interconnection—was an extraordinary, unforgettable privilege.
Do you show your work commercially? If so, where?
Not in a gallery currently, but I do enter shows.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
I started painting at age 70.
What advice would you offer younger artists just beginning their art careers?
Consider all forms of creativity as expressions of what cannot be communicated in words. Follow your calling and your voice. Let art serve you--and others.