Forrest Rodts is an accomplished artist who graduated from Hobart College in upstate New York in 1983. With a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and a minor in Fine Arts, Rodts possesses a unique blend of analytical thinking and artistic sensibility. His artistic journey was sparked during his childhood summers inSiasconset on Nantucket, where his love for the ocean and New England's pristine coastline was ignited.
Rodt’s Artistic Journey
When Rodts first began painting, he was taught with acrylics and for 40 years has continued to use them. “I’m comfortable with them,” he says. “It doesn’t impact my subject matter, but it does impact my process.” Rodts likes that the medium dries quickly and often uses a hairdryer to speed up the process. He paints like he draws – leaning on the canvas or board surface. He wouldn’t be allowed the freedom to do that with other mediums like watercolor or oils. Acrylics allow him to paint areas to create the realistic style he prefers.
Rodts continues to paint on canvas but has expanded to painting on Masonite boards. He says that they allow him more control in painting details. “I don’t have the grain of the canvas to deal with. While my eyesight and hands still allow me to do the fine details, I will continue to use boards as my main painting surface”, he says.
A Master of Serene Landscapes and Seascapes
Rodts began displaying his paintings with the Artists Association of Nantucket in 1982, marking the beginning of his artistic career. In 1988, he held his first solo exhibition in Nantucket, capturing the attention of art enthusiasts and launching his professional journey as a painter. Renowned for his intricate depictions of landscapes and seascapes, Rodts skillfully portrays New England's serene and unspoiled essence. He attributes his love for New England to the many summers spent in “Sconset.” He understood the island's beauty, so it was a natural place to portray. His deep connection with the ocean is evident in every brushstroke, manifesting in breathtaking and captivating creations. Rodts has stated, “I feel I can paint the island with an emotional depth and understanding from my years spent here. I hope that the painting of my nostalgic youth speaks to others, whether they grew up here or not.”
As an artist, Rodts specializes in depicting the realism of natural elements, such as sunsets, stormy skies, sparkling blue oceans, and white-capped waves. His unwavering commitment to detail is evident in his artwork, where he meticulously captures the intimate textures of landscapes and nuances of the ocean. By paying attention to these details, Rodts adds depth and realism to his paintings, creating a profound visual experience for viewers. Undoubtedly, his artworks have gained significant attention and garnered an enthusiastic following.
Exploring New Horizons
While Rodts is primarily celebrated for his landscapes, he has recently embarked on a new artistic direction, drawing inspiration from maritime history and the sailing tradition. This courageous move demonstrates his creative spirit and willingness to explore new subjects. By incorporating elements of history and sailing, Rodts adds another layer of depth and storytelling to his already impressive portfolio, captivating viewers with his narrative-rich works. Rodts has painted some whaling scenes and rescue at sea images that have portrayed chaos, stating, “The action is a nice change from my ore serene images, but I like all.”
Recognitions and Prestigious Memberships
Throughout his career, Rodts has received numerous awards and accolades for his exceptional talent. He is a highly valued member of esteemed artistic organizations, including the Copley Society of Boston, the Artists Association of Nantucket, and the Marblehead Arts Association. His artwork is widely sought after and can be found in esteemed private collections across the United States, Canada, and Europe.
A Life Fueled by Passion
Currently residing in Massachusetts with his wife. Rodts' life revolves around his passion for water, light, sailing, history, and the ocean. His paintings reflect this unwavering dedication, representing a harmonious blend of realism, aesthetic appeal, and captivating mood. Rodt's ultimate goal is to create artwork that captures the essence of his subject and engages viewers on an emotional level, inviting them into the unique world he creates on canvas.
Rodts’s artwork is available at Quidley & Company in Nantucket and Naples.