Walker T. Roman - February's Maker of the Month
When Walker T. Roman picked up a paint brush, he never put it down.
If you ask him, he’ll tell you that he started painting as a child; bringing color into his world and sharing it with others. What began with finger painting (like most of us) has turned into a remarkable talent and artwork one could only dream of.
Walker, a West Tisbury native often finds his inspiration closest to home. “I’ve recently been deeply inspired by just watching the seasons change. I walk through a field near my house frequently, it was full of waist high dry grass until the first heavy snow laid it all down. I'd never made that connection before and it made me wonder what else I was missing in a place I thought I knew everything about.” He says curiously.
Other times he’s inspired by music and thinking about how harmonic theory overlaps with his understanding of color––he’ll admit it’s a bit more intense but nonetheless inspiring.
If you’ve ever seen one of Walker’s paintings then you know it's easy to get lost but then feel found. His landscape paintings often include Island settings, offering a familiar feel that truly brings it to life. One includes Departure III, a beautiful, serene scene of a steamship ferry (which most of us know all too well) departing the docks. It’s a piece that can instill hope or maybe even sadness whether one is coming or going.
Other paintings include scenes from Lucy Vincent Beach, local Martha’s Vineyard farms and more. His prints can be found both online and in-store. But as for the originals? There’s so much more to them!
When asked about his medium, Walker replied “my landscape work is all done in oil paint on hardwood panels. I'm very particular about the painting surface I prepare so I build them myself. I use a specialty waterproof plywood, the same material old highway signs used to be made of before they switched to the modern aluminum ones.”
But has he always done it this way? Nope! He says “my earlier work used to employ many different mediums into the paint. Boiled oils to make the paint stingy, waxes to make it paste like, resins to create gloss etc.”
In recent years Walker has pared materials down to paint from the tube and some mineral spirits which he says keeps the paint body consistent which allows him to be more familiar with its handling and use it more proficiently.
Like many artists and creatives, his tools have changed over time. “I used to have dozens of fancy art brushes, each shaped for a particular type of mark. Now though I use a lot of cheap chip brushes like you'd find at a hardware store, but even with those I'm picky. I've also added in lots of squeegees, rubber rollers, and spatulas as they make very irregular marks and are less predictable than a brush.”
For Walker, he knows a painting succeeds when “it brings me beyond what I had intended” and for him, he likes paintings that are done, not finished.
Martha’s Vineyard Made carries a wonderful selection of Walker’s artwork, available in prints. Interested in an original? We’re happy to reach out to him and inquire!
Find your favorite print here!
Don’t forget to give him a follow on social media to learn more about his creative process, inspiration, artwork and more.
- Jordan Lane