Off The Wall Magazine Q&A with Steve Rogers
Maine: My wife's family retired to Maine about 50 years ago. They owned a number of homes that they either built or renovated in the Damariscotta area. My experiences with her family left me with a deep love of Maine. My father-in-law loved boats, as I do, and knew every boat shop on the road between Damariscotta and South Bristol.
Inspiration: I have always been fascinated by boats, and by the water. I live close to the water in Lewes, Delaware, and often spend time at the working waterfront. There are myriad crabbers, trawlers, pilot boats, scallopers, and all manner of similar craft. Lewes was the homeport of the menhaden fishing fleet, which included large steam- and diesel-driven purse seiners. Some were built in Maine by the Portland Company.
Medium: I’ve gravitated toward oils. They can be used like watercolors or heavy impasto. They enable an artist to glaze over underpainting because they dry so fast.
Art Hero: I am a card-carrying artist of the Brandywine School. I draw inspiration from the Wyeths. The New Hope School and Cos Cob impressionists have also influenced my work. Edward Hopper became an influence after I saw his work at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
Studio: My house was built in 1820, and has been moved twice. It now sits on the edge of the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal, and overlooks a large salt marsh inhabited by ospreys, herons, and egrets. My studio is a sunroom, attached to the east side with windows that give me a view of the marsh.
Where in Maine: I have spent time in every season in and around Damariscotta, South Bristol, and Pemaquid. I‘ve walked the boatyards in Rockland and painted the waterfront in Port Clyde.
Fun Fact: I build workboat models. I have been an instructor at the WoodenBoat School in Brooklin, Maine for nearly 20 years, teaching model boat building.
Education:My parents lived through the depression and World War II, and were adamant that I go to a “real college,” not art school, because I needed to be able to get a real job. I went along with it. But I also took art school courses, and created cartoons for the college newspaper and paintings for date money. After graduation—and a stint in the military—I did store design and advertising production work while I continued to paint.