By Pria Rahmouni
Special to the Tribune-Star
TERRE HAUTE —
To kick off summer, the Wabash Valley Art Guild is showcasing the works of Wayne Shaw at the Vigo County Public library. Shaw is an active member of the arts community in the Wabash Valley as well as in Texas, where he typically spends half the year. Using oil, watercolor and pencil as his media, and realism as his preferred style, Shaw has created an array of paintings depicting scenarios that have left an imprint in his mind.
Art has been an integral part of Shaw’s life since his youth. He became an architect, specializing in machine design. While painting was not his main occupation during that time, Shaw recalls that creating architectural renderings gave gratification to his artistic urges.
It is after his retirement from architecture that he actively pursued painting, soon becoming a sought-after commissioned artist for a wide range of clientele, the latest being Wells Fargo Bank in Houston, Texas.
Shaw’s non-commissioned works often tend to portray people who have played a significant role in his life, or those that inspire him in some way. This is his way of personally relating to the context of his paintings. Even in a piece whose primary focus is nature, landscape or cityscape, one is highly likely to find images of people who are dear to him.
Shaw also enjoys painting or drawing figures of live models who are unconnected to him because of the educational value in the practice. He states that he finds the human form and physical characteristics fascinating, and there is always something new to discover as he continues to study them.
According to Shaw, “portrait and figure drawing is important because it is both challenging as well as rewarding as it helps with all other kinds of art.”
The current collection at the library includes paintings portraying his family members and the quaint settings where he has shared memorable moments with them, ranging from his mother’s houseboat to the characteristic lighthouses of Michigan.
Although Shaw has been creating art for several years and has been trained at institutions across the country, he still considers himself a student.
Every painting, he says, is an educational experience, as he quotes Publilius Syrus of First century B.C. that “practice is the best of all instructors.”
Shaw can be contacted through the Wabash Valley Art Guild at 812-394-2353 or firstname.lastname@example.org.