By Renee Larr
Al Hopkins of Carmel is among the 127 artists selected for the 92nd Annual Hoosier Salon Exhibition. His painting titled, Heirloom Still Life, was his first piece of art in more than 10 years.
“I took about a 10-year break from art because of family concerns, and then my wife, Leigh, encouraged me to get back to painting,” Hopkins said. “I actually only produced one painting this year, and this is it.”
The piece is a still-life oil painting on board. His inspiration was found in his own backyard.
“The painting is of heirloom vegetables. I actually grew the plants from seeds that I had saved and then picked the fruit,” Hopkins said. “It’s tomatoes and eggplant. I put them on an old piece of barn wood, photographed it, and that was my reference material for the painting.”
Hopkins doesn’t consider his artwork a hobby.
“Art is mostly a challenge for me. I’ve drawn and painted ever since I was a child, and to me, it’s a passion to create something,” he said. “Everything in culture today is you sitting and waiting to be entertained by someone else. Art is the ability to create something. To take a plain, flat board and make it actually appear to be something 3-dimensional.”
The piece took him approximately three months to create.
“I can’t paint full-time because I also work. I have to paint when I can. I have to get up early in the morning, and do it in between other things,” he said. “Part of the thing for me is the apprehension of starting a new project. Once you break the ice and actually start doing it, and then you’re into problem solving, failing and correcting, but the main block to me is actually stepping off the edge and getting the piece started.”
Hopkins’ still life will be on display at through Sept. 24 at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center in Indianapolis. For more on the Hoosier Salon Exhibition visit hoosiersalon.org.