by Kurt Leininger
One might assume that since I retired 3 years ago, well before the COVID-19 pandemic reached Southeastern Pennsylvania, I might be accustomed to finding creative ways to keep busy and to continue to learn. And I am, generally, but the isolation we endured in the past year challenged me further, and I imagine that’s true for many more folks than I might think…
I’ve always enjoyed the visual arts and music, and my favorite college elective class as a civil engineering student was History of Art. I had never seriously considered becoming an artist, until last September when Bob Stradling, Pastor of Vision Fellowship at the First Baptist Church of Malvern, offered to share his knowledge and experience in weekly art classes, hosted by Malvern Arts. With all this time literally on my hands, and the happy memory of my college days, I decided to take the plunge, and become an amateur oil painter!
Of course, I found that painting allows me a new way to enjoy and ponder some of my other interests: nature, architecture and education. The scenes I like to paint focus on natural landscapes with historic or iconic buildings, especially scenes that I’ve visited (and photographed) that I would enjoy recreating on canvas. Most recently, I painted the front of the Wharton Esherick Museum, just north of Paoli, which is an unusual structure designed by the artist of that name. Esherick avoided right angles in everything he made, including his entire home. I found this small museum especially intriguing since I visited and admired many Frank Lloyd Wright homes, which excel in right angles! I’m convinced that with an open mind we can discover and enjoy and be inspired by the creativity of our fellow humans (like Esherick and Wright) regardless of our age.
Here are photos of some of my initial paintings: