Since dedicating himself to art over 10 years ago, Brent Rotsko has become a talented and respected fine art oil painter. In 2007 Rotsko decided to make a career as an artist. He was inspired to take this path from his mother, who passed away in 2007. “I remember her as being a very creative person. She enjoyed sewing, quilting, crafts, and had a special love for oil painting,” Rotsko says.
Despite not becoming a full-time artist till then, Rotsko believes he has always been an artist at heart. In school he would draw on the paper book protectors his mother made for him, “They made great canvases and mine were soon full of drawings of just about anything that came to my head. My focus on school work was not the best and I was soon labelled a daydreamer”. After high school, Rotsko became a Merchant Marine, “During my time at sea I began carving intricate ship models.” Rotsko believes this was his first artistic endeavor.
When he started out as a self-taught artist, one of the first things he did was join the Newburyport Art Association. This enabled him to get training from artists in the community whose work he was drawn to. He sought out demonstrations, lessons, and workshops from artists such as Todd Bonita, Donald Jurney, Robin Thornhill, Joseph McGurl, Karen Blackwood, Julie Airoldi, and Rosalie Sidotti. “This is how I began my journey,” Rotsko says.
Now, Rotsko resides in Chester, NH with his wife Jana, and his “studio dog” Georgia. After falling in love with oil painting so many years ago, he says he is still “constantly searching for better ways to express myself on canvas. My focus is to capture depth, light, dimension, and atmosphere in my paintings”. Rotsko believes he has learned much from his experiences as an artist, “I've learned artists are a great people to be around, who love to share their talents and processes and guide you and that there are no shortcuts. Todd Bonita told me paint a mile of canvas and then you can think about becoming an artist.”
Brent Rotsko will be having a featured artist show at the NAA in September. The show is entitled “Woods and Waterways” and features oil paintings depicting classic New England scenery. The show will be on view September 11-23 with a reception September 15, 7:00 to 9:00pm. Rotsko says he is “..excited and a little nervous, ” about the show, but that he also know that his mother would be “very proud.”
Want more of Brent Rosko? Check out his website brentrotsko.com!
Bella Nadeau is a Freshman at The Governor’s Academy and the author of the 2018 NAA “Meet Our Member” articles.