My name is Rick Fortson, and I’ve been in real estate sales and appraising since 1986. I loved to draw as a young boy, but stopped once I started high school. Little did I know it would be nearly 30 years before I picked up a drawing pencil again.
My parents bought me some oil paints when I was 12, and for 2 or 3 years I painted landscapes. When I was in college, my art teacher drew me, and it gave me the same feeling when someone performs a magic trick right in front of your eyes. Although I thought it was cool, I still had no desire to take drawing seriously.
It wasn’t until October 2008 that I decided to develop my raw drawing abilities. It was a combination of my mother encouraging me to draw, and watching our children develop their own artistic abilities that finally made me decide to seriously learn everything I could about drawing.
It quickly became a passion, and I couldn’t get enough. I started by drawing our children, and quickly moved on to celebrities. One of the main reasons I stopped drawing for all those years is because whenever I was in the “mood to draw” I could rarely decide on WHAT to draw, and as a result I usually ended up not drawing all. Since I decided to focus on portraits, I no longer have to decide WHAT to draw, but WHO to draw. As a result, I will never run out of people to draw that inspire me.
About one year after I started drawing, someone suggested I take my art portfolio to Waubonsee College in Sugar Grove. I don’t have an art degree or teaching degree, but they let me create my own course for the public, which focused on realism and advanced techniques. I did it mainly as a challenge, and I feel I would enjoy teaching, but at this point I do not want to go back to college to get an art degree, or a teaching degree.
I do consider individual commission drawings, but it depends on my current workload, which varies from season to season with my combined businesses.
I decided to focus on portraits for many reasons, primarily because they are so challenging. If you can draw people, and capture their personalities, I believe you can draw anything.
Rick Fortson joined Fine Art America on April 12th, 2011.