A native Montanan, Kevin Rose was fortunate to be exposed to art through Ted Waddell. Friends with Waddell’s daughters, Kevin spent time on the family’s ranch and found himself sweeping out barns or stretching canvas in the art studio in the presence of Warhols, Autios, and Lichtensteins. Today, Kevin Rose is an established artist in his own right and splits his time between Billings and the Western Art Forum Gallery in Big Sky.
How did you get started in your field?
I’ve always been drawn to the visual arts, mainly contemporary and abstract. At an early age, I was introduced to the work of Ted Waddell. His style and technique has been a huge influence to this day. In the last ten years or so, I started taking my own work more seriously and through the encouragement of family, friends, and Kira Fercho, I’ve finally made the leap into being a full-time artist.
How do you see your field changing?
The advent of social media and online galleries has really opened up the art world. The exposure of an artist to a new audience, near and far, has provided more opportunities for someone breaking into the world of art.
Which project are you most excited about right now?
I’m currently working on two large pieces for an estate in Colorado. While the homeowners have been specific with their desires, they’ve given their trust to my creative eye. It’s daunting, but also incredibly exciting, when clients allow you the freedom to just create.
How do you work with clients?
Meeting clients, other artists, and designers is my favorite part of this business… besides actually painting, of course. Being surrounded by new ideas, amazing talent, and people who appreciate the arts is indeed a driving force behind any artist.
What do you offer that is unique?
My abstract, almost landscapes, seem to be what draw collectors most to my work.
What tricks of the trade have you learned over the years?
Listening to clients, designers, and gallery owners is a must. Everyone has a different perspective, different tastes, and different needs. So I’m always learning, evolving, and hopefully getting better as an artist.
What is the most exciting new product or development in your field?
Experimenting with new techniques and mediums keeps my work fresh. Challenges push an artist, and nothing is more challenging than doing something completely new. Sometimes it may work; most of the time it doesn’t, but I learn. And that’s what life should be about.
What words do people use to describe your work?
My work and style have been described as brash, yet not overpowering. Subtle palettes. The favorite question I get about my art is, “So, how do you do this?”
What inspires you?
What amazes me is the enormous concentration of talent here in Montana—from poets, to painters, to potters. The talent of these craftspeople and artists is mind-blowing. And then add the vast and dramatic landscapes that I’m fortunate enough to be surrounded by, and it’s almost impossible not to be inspired.