Artist, Alan Reeve has been the Art Chair/Teacher at Marion Catholic High School in Marion, Ohio, for the past twelve years. Reeve teaches a multitude of disciplines including: drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture, computer graphics, photography, and photojournalism. His knowledge and passion for teaching art has led several of his students to further their education in art and pursue art degrees.
Reeve received his Bachelors of Fine Arts from Kent State University and has since been involved in promoting the arts extensively in Marion County, Ohio. He was a key figure in the creation of the annual Celebrate Summer Art Fair, an art fair showcasing artistic talent from all over the country. He helped establish and taught at the Palace Arts program for the city. An incredibly diversified artist, Reeve has done everything from developing business logos and advertising to collectible sculptures and tattoo designs.
Described by his peers as one of the top twenty percent of working artist in the country today, his work is treasured & collected worldwide. He is recognized in Who’s Who of American Teachers and a member of The American Society of Portrait Artists. Reeve has received numerous awards and appeared in several exhibits some of which are listed below.
2011 The Delaware Arts Castle, Delaware, Ohio
2009 DaVic Art Studio, Columbus, Ohio
2009 High Roads Gallery, Colored Pencil Exhibit
2007 Jung Association Gallery, Short North art district, Columbus, Ohio
2007-Present Main Street Gallery, Mount Vernon, Ohio
2006 Kuhn Gallery, One Man Show, Marion, Ohio
2005 Ohio Art League, Raw Materials, Columbus, Ohio
2005 Kuhn Gallery Ohio State University, Marion, Ohio
2004 Holidayfest Short North Columbus, Ohio
2004 Studio 16 Gallery, Columbus, Ohio
2003 Marietta College, Marietta, Ohio
2003 Mean Bean Coffee Lounge, One Man Show, Delaware, Ohio
1996-1999 Celebrate Summer Art Fair The Ohio State University Campus at Marion
1996 Estate of the Arts Gallery, Mansfield, Ohio
Best of Show, 2009 High Roads Gallery, Colored Pencil Exhibit
Best of Show, 2005 The First Annual Juried Community Art Exhibition, Kuhn Gallery Ohio State University
Best of Show, 2003 Ohio Art Educators Exhibit, Marietta, Ohio
Best of Show, 1997 Celebrate Summer Art Fair
1997 Finalist Portrait Category/Honorable Mention, The Artist’s Magazine
I am a realist. I look for an elegant clarity of form and new boundaries of realism processed through my eye. I create rich graphite and charcoal paintings. I prefer to work with simple graphite or charcoal pencils as they allow me to capture the lighting and detail without getting bogged down in the complexity of their use. Sometimes I create an introspective narrative, portraying a thought or expression. Other times I just marvel in the beauty of the figure.
When I begin a drawing of the subject, there are three important goals. The first is to create an accurate drawing of the form. This is the foundation and must be done correctly. As I map out the drawing, I pay attention to the contour, the edges around the form, and the negative space, the spaces around the subject that are not the form. I use a technique I call sighting, or comparing the position of one point to another.
The second is to create a sense of the tactual. I want the viewer to be able to visually feel the art; the rough texture of an old barn, the tension of the muscles of the back, the softness of the belly, the crisp folds of a shirt, even the hardness of an elbow or kneecap. This is all very important to the success of the drawing.
The third goal is to capture the light and shadow that falls on the model. I use a technique used by Renaissance artists called chiaroscuro, interpreting the tonal values I see and using them to clarify the form. Often, in order to maintain the whole of the drawing, I will lay down an even tone, or ground, or start with a colored paper. Values are created with successive layers of tone burnished into the tooth, or texture of the paper. Sometimes I even scrub the paper with steel wool to further push the graphite into the tooth and achieve a richness of tone. Highlights are carved or cut out with a kneaded or sharp vinyl eraser, or drawn in with white chalk. I am constantly pushing and pulling tones, looking for the play of dark against light to convincingly reveal the form.
Sometimes people ask me, “why don’t you paint?” My response has been that I’m still learning to draw. I’ve always felt that drawing is the backbone of all art, and I continually am learning and perfecting my craft.
In 2002, I began experimenting with some drawings using Adobe Photoshop. I created a series of figure drawings inspired by the art nouveau style of one of my favorite artist, Alphonse Mucha. Using several sheets of tracing paper, I create a pencil line drawing of a figure and then ink the drawing. I then scan the ink drawing into the computer and clean them up. At this point I apply color to the drawings using several layers in Photoshop. Photoshop makes it easy to change colors to finalize the image.
I enjoyed this process so much that I have done several different types of drawings and have plans to do more in the future.