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Painting the Folk Fest

Todd Derr Painting 2016Stop by the art market and visit with Owensboro, KY, artist Todd Derr as he paints a scene of his choice from this year's Ferdinand Folk Festival. Using the tradition of open-air painting in nature, or as the French would say "en plein air" style (pronounced "aw-plen-air"), Todd is excited to participate in his first Folk Fest.

Bio: Todd Derr is the son of a Warrick County coal miner and 1960s flower child. Both influenced his life growing up in the country north of Boonville, Indiana. From his dad he learned mechanics and practical thinking. From his mom he learned to appreciate nature and to dream and create. From both he was granted freedom to explore and take his life into his own hands—a source of frustration for them he is sure.

Drawing and painting has always been a part of Todd’s life, but he never considered it anything more than a side project or a hobby. No one in his family had ever pursued a career in the arts, and when he proposed the idea of a formal art education to his father, it was frowned upon. After a frustrating and unfulfilling freshman year in college with no art classes, Todd joined the Air Force and went to work on F-15 fighter jets. He still worked at his art making studies and creating drawings for his Air Force buddies. Near the end of his enlistment he made a pen and ink drawing of an F-15 that his shop made copies of and gave to leaving airmen.

After returning home, he went to work for his uncle's heating and air conditioning business, but he never gave up his dream to create art and be an artist. With no idea how or where to start, he researched the library and Internet. His first love was watercolor, and he spent nearly fifteen years exploring and learning this challenging medium. Today, his work has matured, and his established love is the great outdoors and plein air painting in oils. Todd began teaching himself oil painting during the winter of 2012-13, and he has seen a rapid progression in his grasp of the medium.

Inspired by the traditional painting methods of many historical and contemporary artists, he feels that even if current artistic and technological trends find those older methods archaic, he feels the need to have a direct connection between his materials, his hands, his mind, and the scene that surrounds him. That will always be the most organic and spiritual connection for him and his work. Completely self taught and with years of self-guided work at his craft, Todd is confident with his work and he is seeing success as a local artist in his home of Owensboro, KY. He paints full time and is a stay-at-home dad. His wife is an integral part of his success. Without her unwavering support, his work wouldn't be possible.
Visit http://toddderr.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/toddderrfineart/.

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