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Darren McGrath - Fine Artist

Darren McGrath

Lancaster, OH - United States








Darren McGrath

Lancaster, OH - United States

Darren McGrath - Fine Artist

Member Since:

January 14th, 2013







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About Darren McGrath

My Interest in drawing and painting came to me early in life , as an only child I had to find ways to entertain myself . My Great Uncle was an oil painter and attended a small art school in Pennsylvania for a short time . It was a painting he had done of a lighthouse that really inspired me to draw and paint . The painting hung in my grandmothers livingroom and I can remember playing with matchbox cars on the floor while all the time looking up at it . It wouldn't be long that I would put the cars up and ask my mom if she had anything to draw on , she was use to this , so most of the time she carried small notepads and a pencil . The winters of 1977 & 1978 were two of the worst winters in the history of Ohio . I found myself getting bored and restless , the weather was at times to severe to be outside . January of 1977 was the coldest on record , not to mention the blizzard itself that month . Columbus public schools closed due to the cost of energy to heat them . As an alternative , students were asked but not forced to attend class only twice a week . I myself went to school for a half day at a near by church and again on Fridays at Independence high school which at the time was the newest school in Columbus , Ohio . Local television station , channel 10 ( CBS ) made national news when they had school without schools on tv. Local teachers volunteered to teach using television as a way to reach the children . One of the programs was an art show , I can still remember my mom coming to get me and yelling ' Your art show is coming on !' (Yahoooo) I would sit at the coffee table and draw along , most of the shows were more for older kids but that didn't stop me from drawing too . I still have a certificate from the Columbus Public Schools for not missing a day during this crisses . The Blizzard of 1978 was even worse , but my mom and dad were more prepared for this one , I had a surplus of paints and crayons . Back in those days before I was allowed to paint , I had to be sworn in and had to promise the following ---
I DARREN MCGRATH WILL PAINT ON THE PAPER PROVIDED AND ONLY THE PAPER . I WILL NOT PAINT THE KITCHEN TABLE , MYSELF OR THE FAMILY DOG , PEPPER . I would spend hours sitting at the kitchen table drawing and painting as the snow blew past the window like sand in an hour glass . Soon evening would fall , my Dad would come home from work and I knew then it was supper time and my time was up using the kitchen as my art studio . The years following I found myself drawing and painting less and less and video games became my newest love .

In 1985 I started my Freshmen year of high school at Columbus Eastmoor and enrolled in an art class . That same year my mom became ill with a rare bone cancer . Not able to leave the house , like the blizzard years of the past , I turned to my old friend the pencil and paint brush to take my mind off my problems . I also found a couple of art shows to watch , The Joy Of Painting with Bob Ross and the Magic of Oil Painting with Bill Alexander . My mom would also become a fan of the shows often comparing Bob Ross paintings of waterfalls to her childhood home that was across the road from Old Mans Cave , Hocking Hills State Park in Hocking County ,Ohio . In January 1986 my mom made me make several promises , one of them was that I would never stop drawing like I had before . My mom passed away later that month and I would leave Columbus to live with my father in the small village of New Straitsville , Ohio .

Those years after moving were just as tough as my last year in Columbus . I didn't really fit into the small country school I was attending , the students weren't friendly and the teachers weren't much better . My art however sure didn't struggle with the adjustments . In 1988 I would become the first art student from Miller high School to win a blue ribbon at the Perry County Art show . During my 3 years at Miller , I would win more ribbons than all the other art students combined and .... I have NO problem reminding them of it !

Christmas of 1989 I recieved a box of soft pastels and paper from my Dad . This was a far tougher medium than I had been using (pencil) and I had lot's of problems at first , everything from smearing to using fixative . I would go on to use pastels for sometime but my heart was still thinking of trying oil painting . On June 27th , 1990 , I finally bought my first set of oil paints , The Bob Ross Master Paint Set . On July 4th , 1990 I painted my first oil painting . I used a Poppa Toms Pizza box covered in foil for a pallete and leaned the canvas against a tree because I didn't have an easel either . It has been over 20 years since that HOT summer day and over 25 years since my nightmare in Columbus . I have without a doubt painted well over 100 Alexander - Ross style paintings , some I still have , some were sold and others were given to charity events . In 2009 and 2010 My paintings were displayed at the Lancaster Festival Art Walk . Photos taken by the festival in '09 were used to advertise the art walk in 2010 and 2011 on their website and programs . Another great moment was finding out one of my paintings had been chosen to be printed in the Bob Ross newsletter ( BRUSH STROKES ) in March of 2010 . I was one of twelve picked after a call for entries with a mountain theme was announced in the newsletter that is shipped all over the world . In May 2010, my painting of the Fairfield County Fairgrounds was one of the featured paintings of the week on the World Art Foundation Website .
My sadddest art moment had to be watching several of my paintings being auctioned off to help a young girl who was suffering from the same cancer my mom had suffered with years before . The bidding started at $25 and in a blink of an eye had rose to $200 ! I couldn't help but think back to 1985 when I regained my interest in art , but even more , the memories of my mom mixing my paints at the kitchen sink , hanging my masterpieces up in the kitchen and painting my way through a
blizzard !! !!!

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Images = 10

Pastel Falls  by Darren McGrath

Pastel Falls by Darren McGrath

The Vietnam War Memorial by Darren McGrath

The Vietnam War Memorial by Darren McGrath

Old Mans Cave  by Darren McGrath

Old Mans Cave by Darren McGrath

Dog-deer days of summer  by Darren McGrath

Dog-deer days of summer by Darren McGrath

Flowers flowers and flowers  by Darren McGrath

Flowers flowers and flowers by Darren McGrath

Alley Park by Darren McGrath

Alley Park by Darren McGrath

Don't touch his flag  by Darren McGrath

Don't touch his flag by Darren McGrath

The Sherman House  by Darren McGrath

The Sherman House by Darren McGrath

Hocking Valley Scenic Railroad  by Darren McGrath

Hocking Valley Scenic Railroad by Darren McGrath

Mountain Blue  by Darren McGrath

Mountain Blue by Darren McGrath

Images = 10