Today is an international celebration of the fine arts, to promote creativity world wide. Chosen in honor of Leonardo Da Vinci’s birthday, the first World Art Day was held on April 15, 2012.
I would like to take today to high-light a fantastic local artist, Adrian Lime, out of Toledo, Ohio.
I know Adrian through my husband, and they know each other through work. Adrian was nice enough to add me to social media about six years ago on that alone. Although I’ve never met him in person (busy lives and all that), I’ve talked to him plenty about books, music, and the like. I’ve also seen a few of his pieces once finished and posted online. Adrian has graciously allowed me to pester him with questions about his art, on such sort notice (because honestly, I’m forgetful and lost track of my days!), and provided some great material for me to share with you.
So, without further ado…
How/why did you start making art?
I was homeless for a short while in the early 1990s, and I was lucky enough to be able to get a room in the Collingwood Arts Center for a couple of years. I used to take old Rolling Stone magazines and cut out the images like stencils, spray painting on walls. It looked good to me, but that was just for fun. I started messing around with other ways to cut stencils, to block out shapes in sharper ways, to glue things, mask off, smudge, to get closer to what I had in my head. I would paint on any flat surface I could find… pizza boxes, plywood, walls, doors, absolutely anything.
I’ve done lots of pieces over the past twenty five years, but most of them are gone. Gifted to friends or fallen apart and thrown out. A couple of years ago I started breaking images up in a different way, fracturing contours into sharp geometric shapes, trying to be able to draw softness out of sharpness, relying on the viewer’s eye to resolve a smooth gradient out of layered angles. Some of the pieces draw their depth in the way that a topographical map can. Others just rely on the mid filling in the missing bits… that’s what I’ve been most excited to work on. Softness from sharp edges.
What inspires you and your work?
Chuck Close is an artist I have always admired, and the way he breaks down natural images into seemingly unnatural blocks and concentric circles just blows me away. And I’ve always loved good graffiti art… how a fairly inexpensive media (spray paint) can be used with skilled hands to make something beautiful. And the fact that it’s a temporary, transient art makes it all the more attractive to me. A flower bloom or the shock of color of a bird flying by… something rich and beautiful, but transient.
What types of media do you use?
I’ve been fooling around with other media, but I usually use spray paint on canvas. For all of the types of spray paint I’ve bought over the years, from 87 cents water grey-black cheap paint to Montana brand archival spray paint, I keep coming back to Rustoleum paints from the hardware store. I think I’ve just gotten used to them, but that’s what I like to use.
Where was your first art show held?
I had a solo gallery show of my spray paint portraits about a year ago, May 2018, at Miriam Wagoner’s Art & Performance Center of West Toledo, located at 2702 W. Sylvania Avenue. I love this gallery… they have a new featured artist showing every month, an absolutely overflowing collection of local artists’ work for sale, and regular concerts, poetry readings, improv, and other events. The focus is on local artists, which is so important, and the price range of pieces offered runs from a few dollars to a few thousand dollars… something for anyone. And they offer classes in all sorts of media and performance for every level of artists.. from people just interested in trying something new, to professional artists looking for further inspiration. The APC is a regular hangout of mine, and we’re very fortunate to have it here in West Toledo.
How can people contact you to purchase pieces? Do you have a website/social media they can check out [more art]?
I still rely mostly on word-of-mouth, which is kind of great because it feels comfortable to know that somebody really wants one of these paintings. Each piece can take 20-40 work hours to finish, so it’s gratifying to know that it means something special to the person buying one. But I know that I need to catch up to the current century, so since I don’t have an Etsy or IndieMe site yet, I have an Instagram account where I at least keep a record of paintings since 2017. My Instagram name is alime42. That’s also my email account, which is probably the best way to get hold of me to talk about a commission. My email is email@example.com and I’m happy to talk over any idea someone has. I do mainly close-cropped portraiture, but I’ve had some success doing other things.. a skyline of NYC, a guitar case, a Jeep Wrangler grille… I’m just happy to have a project to work on. Check out the Instagram account to get an idea of what I do, and then we can go from there if it fits.
Is there anything else you’d like people to know?
Honestly, I’m primarily a poet. That’s my art, if I had to say it. But I like the spray paint portraiture because the whole process is meditative to me. I write every day, and I paint every week… something like that. I do readings around Toledo regularly, and travel around Ohio and Michigan doing readings when I can. I’m a factory working at the Toledo Jeep plant, so whatever time I have away from work I spend with my wife and children, and writing and painting.
A while ago, you were working on a poetry project with another [poet], what happened with that?
I was fortunate enough to publish a book last year with another talented poet, Michael Grover. The book is called Feeding the Monster. These are factory poems that explore so much of the world of life in the plant… from the physical pain and sheer mental boredom, to health problems from the garbage we can be exposed to, to the impact the many house and physical drain can have on family life. I’m so happy to have been able to get this book out. It was published through EMP Books, and can be purchased either through the publisher’s website or directly through me. I take a bunch of those books to sell wherever I go to read.
Click here to see a 3-minute time lapse of Adrian’s painting, Lovers.