Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Rae Broyles. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Rae, looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. What did your parents do right and how has that impacted you in your life and career?
I suppose I had little choice in the path my artistic life followed. I was born into a family of 6 generations of danish painters and musicians. My father was a student of Norman Rockwell and my mother was from Norway where her family crafted handmade fishing boats for the past few generations. My home was filled with music and art. Every day there was an element of literature, dance, painting, music or creativity involved in my upbringing. My mother would sew and knit while my father took us on many family vacations where he would sit and plein air paint for hours. It was always surprising and wonderful that when my brothers would have friends over and literally shake the windows with there electric guitars, my moms only response was, “oh it’s fine”.
I remember the joy of bringing my art projects, be it a drawing or home made magazine or collage, to my mother, and feeling the pride when she applauded my efforts. It was truly as if my parents were praising me for doing what I enjoy.
They were also extremely supportive of all of us following our dreams. I have four other siblings as well. We were given complete autonomy in our decision making when it came extra curricular activities and eventually our careers. The more things we tried in life, the more experiences we gained, the better.
As I look back I can’t even explain the gratitude. I had the opportunity to learn to dance, ride horses, play multiple instruments, camp and catch and gut a fish. At the same time, as were many children in the 60’s and 70’s, we were encouraged to “Go outside and play until dinner”. This gave me opportunities to enjoy the natural world and create using only what I could find in the forest preserve near my home in Barrington Hills, IL.
I was also very fortunate to be exposed to many creative techniques early. As far as I know, my high school was extremely rare as we had classes in traditional photography, jewelry making, stone lithography, silk screen, ceramics and more. This was normal for me at the time. Can you imagine!
After high school, I was off to study Interior Design at University of Minnesota. I was really enjoying the fine art classes and I decided to apply to Rhode Island School of Design where I transferred the following summer.
The best memory there? Well, one night sitting at a restaurant/bar with a group of artists discussing painting. I think I had gone to heaven for a moment. It felt like I had sat down in a French cafe with the likes of Hemingway and Fitzgerald.
My parents did make some mistakes. I have made mistakes with my children as well. This is what life is….learning. But my parents, they did A LOT of things right. I am grateful for them and their open-minded optimism that has allowed me to follow my dreams.
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your back background and context?
Rae’s recognitions include 2016 Platform Artist of the Year Finalist with RMG, which hosts Spectrum Miami and Art Expo New York, 2016, Mixed Media Artist of the Year at the ADC Awards in Cincinnati, OH, The Bronze Award for Painting Forward, Best in Show at JF Gallery, West Palm Beach, FL, and multiple merit awards in National Shows including the Valdosta National, Grosse Pointe Art Center, MI and the APS National Show at Chastain in Atlanta with print work.
Alright – so here’s a fun one. What do you think about NFTs?
Ahhhh, I am glad you asked! As I am not only an artist but a retired marketing professional, I was immediately intrigued by the concept of NFT’s. And of course, the carrot of money, like that obtained by the Beeple creator. As I studied the concept, the display options, the techniques of marketing etc I became l less and less interested. After investing in a few ethereum myself, I continued researching. First and foremost, I am a very tactile person. Even the concept of buying a painting on line is never something I would do, unless the purchase were an investment or I was already familiar with the artist. Art and painting is so much more than the image itself. Each piece of art I create is more than two dimensions. In my opinion, more than 3 dimensions. The dimensionality of the piece, size it was created, materials uses, textures and how it refracts various lighting conditions all lend themselves to the final observers experience, as well as my own in creating it.
I then learned that currently, the environmental impact of NFT’s is substantial. The energy it takes to create an NFT is enormous.
As stated in this Postergrind article, there are hopes of fixing this problem over time but this would not change my opinion.
I realize there is an entire generation of people that love creating computer based art and I take nothing away from that. I hope they make bundles of money. But for myself, that is not where I get my enjoyment in creating.
What’s a lesson you had to unlearn and what’s the backstory?
As Picasso once said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he/she grows up
I studied Illustration at RISD and I am grateful for the knowledge and technical skills I gained. It was a challenge for me to let go of the perfectionist aspect of illustrating though. When I decided to paint abstractly, to just let the images flow freely from myself, I often found myself forcing a direction, a color palette or figurative imagery. For me, the images I now paint, at least in my abstract work, I believe are already created in the universe. I am merely opening my heart and allowing them to be recorded thru my hand.
- Website: www.raebroyles.com