Nick Walters - Modern Artist
I am a painter living and working in Lexington, Kentucky who focuses on figurative realism. I have been creating in one form or another for as long as I can remember. As a kid, I was constantly drawing in notebooks throughout the school day and into the evening at home. The drawings mainly consisted of cartoonish figures doing things that I found humorous.
As I moved into adolescence, I continued drawing but my main focus moved to music. I started playing guitar in middle school and would eventually save enough birthday and allowance money to buy a Tascam 4-track recorder. I would spend almost all of my free time at home recording weird musical arrangements or recording with friends.
In college, I continued my musical pursuits though my academic focus became creative writing. I studied at the University of Kentucky under many truly great writers and spend much of my time writing narratives in my head to then be transferred to type.
After collage, I started a loud and rowdy band, Those Crosstown Rivals, with a few buddies and began working in corporate America. Most weekends and a few full week tours a year, the band would be on the road playing shows in the North, South, and as west as Colorado. This time period was one of the best in my life, but after 4 years, I found myself quite burnt out on the weekly nomadic lifestyle and drinking more often than one should.
Once I quit playing in the band, I was lost. I went from having no free time to having a massive amount. I had little desire to play music so I drank. It was never a conscious decision, but by the time I realized I was drinking far too much, it was too late. I was in the depths of alcoholism with a physical and mental addiction.
Thanks to my family, I spent five weeks at the Hazelden Beatty Ford Clinic in 2016 to try and beat my addiction. While there, I found an old and cheap watercolor set and began painting the same cartoonish figures I had drawn as a child. I then decided that I would try painting when I returned home as it was something I had always wanted to do but never had the time or drive.
Once I returned home, I bought a cheap acrylic set and quickly found a new love. My pieces were by no means good and mainly based in abstraction at first, but I progressed well. Within a year, I had switched to oils and began to focus more on portraiture and figurative work. This was a continuation of all the work I had created in my life as my music, narratives, and even cartoon drawings as a child, concerned people and situations.
By 2018, I realized that I had traded one addiction for another much healthier one as painting became a daily activity and has been for a few years now. While I can't say that painting has kept me sober - as that would discount my wife, family, friends, Hazelden, AA, and my own determination- it sure as hell has helped.