Arts & Culture

Five Minutes with artist Addison Palmer

"We Are Waiting"
"We Are Waiting" Submitted Photo

Addison Palmer grew up in the Hilton Head Island art scene. His father is painter Jim Palmer, and his uncle, Walter, is known for his bird sculptures that populate the island.

Addison no longer lives in the Lowcountry, but it still draws him back. He returns for an exhibit of his work at the Art League of Hilton Head's Walter Greer Gallery through Oct. 20.

He left the island after graduating from Hilton Head Island High School in 1989 to study art at Brevard College, where he was also an accomplished long-distance runner. The painter has gone on to be a professional artist based out of Winston-Salem, N.C., specializing in scenes of the Southeast.

Question. How often are you on Hilton Head Island?

Answer. I spend more time (there) than I really do up here. ... I've got a painting in Evening of the Arts, which I've been a part of since I was 13 years old.

Q. You grew up in a family of artists. Did you always figure you'd become one?

A. I never really thought about it, as in, "This is what I want to do with my life." Just being around my dad and other artists, I was learning by osmosis. As soon as I could hold a brush, I was painting. I got involved in shows in school, and it just progressed. ... It just slowly happened.

Q. Did your father or parents ever encourage or discourage you to get into art?

A. We have never had a discussion like that. ... Literally being around it, I just flowed into it. As I got older, I told myself, "I'll put 110 percent into it; if it works that's great, if not, I'll find some other avenue." I've been doing it now 30 years full time, hard to believe.

Q. Have you mainly painted or have you ventured into other mediums?

A. I used to do some mixed media work. I do some oil at times, but not too much. My medium is acrylic. It's mainly acrylic on canvas or board. It's work that relates to the Southeast. It's two golden retrievers on a porch, a boat on the water with a beautiful sky. Subjects like that.

Q. What's your process like?

A. Living in this area, I know how things look. It's a combination of being out there in the environment and at the same time going by photographs. It is hard to tell a wild blue heron to sit still for a few hours, you know.

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