Nathan Rhoads has been creating art for over 25 years. He graduated with honors from Point Loma Nazarene University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts concentrating in painting. Currently, he is working on pet portrait commissions along with personal work.
Nathan lives in the Portland, Oregon area with his two boys and dog.
I have always loved old signs.
My background is in graphic design, so my designer brain flips out when I see vintage neon signs. I have been working on a collection of work that embodies those amazing, old neon signs.
This series has been in the works since 2020. The initial muse had been old, worn-out signs, the remains of a bygone era, juxtaposed against a dramatic sky. As I would plan each composition in the series, I began to focus more on lighting. A lit sign at dusk, a storm coming in, etc. The focus shifted to the lighting. I was letting go of concrete reference imagery in lieu of using my imagination.
Working on this body of work is refreshing, and a great way for me to keep painting when I am waiting for commissions to dry. These paintings allow me to fully embrace my ‘painterly realistic’ style. I always want my painting to look realistic, but never want it to look like a photo.
I work to capture great detail with the brushstrokes still visible. I want these paintings to look different from 16 feet and four feet away. At 16 feet from the painting, you see crisp details. Move up to four feet or closer and those crisp details melt into beautiful brushstrokes. This is my very favorite way to paint.