R Gregory Summers
I am about painting, about people, and helping others. I am an artist of the land; I am a plain air artist.
Born in the Flint Hills of Kansas with 4 sisters and 1 brother, my father was a cowboy turned truck driver, and we were lucky enough to have a stay at home Mom.
Served in the USAF at the end of the Vietnam War, I went straight to study art at Johnson County Community College on the GI Bill. Here I met Prof Jean Howard, and learned painting.
My professional career as an artist began in 1979 at Hallmark Cards in Kansas City, Missouri, where I learned the art of sculpting in metal and continued as a Master Engraver for the next 30 years.
The end of the 70’s and early 80’s I began competing in National and International painting competitions and winning. I did not continue with my painting, I let a sure career, and a growing family take front seat to my experiment with putting paint to canvas.
The 21st century brought many changes in his life. The biggest was the realization that drugs & alcohol were not the cure-all that I thought it was, and that the only way forward was to put it behind. With this knowledge, a new marriage to Susie, my loving and supportive wife I was able to focus on what I loved and did best, PAINT!
In 2010 I stepped outdoors for the first time and found that you can combine painting with the great wide open, through a Continuing Education course at the Kansas City Art Institute, taught by Anne Garney. At this realization I went full force ahead without looking back.
Late 2011 I met who was to be my Mentor till his untimely death. Rick Howell was not only one of the most talented artists I had ever met, but above that he loved people and saw belief and hopes in each and everyone.
I believe that one can help themselves best by helping others. I don’t try to inspire, or be any sort of model. I am an imperfect soul, and look to be spending my life here learning as I can. I have a lot of experience I can share; if that inspires another in some manner I am honored.
My help in forming the Missouri Valley Impressionist Society with Jeff Sparks, Brent Seevers, and Rachel Mindrup was for this purpose. To help other artists and art lovers find a place they could live, learn, and share art in this wonderful region I live in.