Living and Painting in the West
By Chelsea Chambers Photos Kimberlee Miller
“Impressionism—it is the birth of light in painting.” – Robert Delaunay, French painter
Inspired by French and California Impressionists, Kevin McCain, local artist, has been painting scenery and landscapes for decades. He has an uncanny ability to capture the true, realistic beauty of the Earth through his primary medium of oil painting, which is no easy feat and required years of practice.
Originally from Arizona, McCain made his way to Idaho with his wife, whose family hails from Kuna, and has been here for the past 15 years. Raised in an artistic family, it came as no surprise that McCain developed an affinity for drawing and painting in high school. He began competing at a young age and won several awards throughout his education, both in grade school and college. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Utah State University and continued to pursue his dreams and aspirations in the art world.
When prompted about his process and how he finds creative motivation, McCain had this say, “I am fascinated with light and how it affects color. I am captivated by color and all its many shades and emotions. Light and color attract me to the landscape, the sun saturates the land, which reveals her colors to the artist. As I visit the wonderful and unique places of the West, I always look for the light and color to give my landscapes emotion and mood. To me, this brings life to my paintings and celebrates life here in the West.”
And it is exactly that mentality that is truly encapsulated in his art. The vibrant and natural colors, the way the setting sun falls over the forested tree-line is perfectly captured through McCain’s vision. Perhaps even more impressive is his ability to create picture-perfect impressions of nature—the way the water flows through a meadow, the intricate notches of the branches—all beautifully imagined on canvas.
McCain admires the classical works and believes that if it is not practiced, then it may fall by the wayside to the up-rise of modern art. It is for that reason that he teaches art in his spare time. While there is room for all forms of creativity in the art world, McCain’s classes focus on classical drawing through observation and progress through various skill levels and difficulties. And these classes are for everyone, he’s taught students of all ages from 13 to 84!
“If you’re going to be an artist, just do it. Practice it, and enjoy it. I encourage people to get the best education that they can. Find your industry and tailor your skills.”
If you are interested in seeing more of McCain’s incredible artwork, his website has an extensive gallery, found at www.mccainart.com. There, you can find more information about Kevin McCain, his art, his process, and the classes that he teaches.