As far back as I can remember, I’ve always known that I wanted to be an artist. Drawing and doodling constantly, I’ve always been pulled to creating but didn’t pick up a brush seriously until 2017, and haven’t been able to put it down since. Studying different styles to find my voice as a painter, I’ve settled primarily on the beautiful subject of nature, and doing my best to capture the essence of my interpretation onto a canvas. I love studying the effect of a bold light source interacting with the dancing branches across a wooded landscape. The early autumn yellows and oranges mix harmoniously with a blue or purple sky to create a very pleasing combination. Color is something that I’ll continue to experiment with throughout my studies as a painter because when two colors work right together and placed against other combinations of color, the results can be magnificent.

There’s often a difference between what I originally planned on painting, and the finished piece staring back at me. I’ve learned that sometimes all a painting needs is just a little bit of direction, and it will begin to develop itself. The real skill, I think, is ignoring the voice in your head and getting out of your own way to allow something amazing to happen.

Originally from Pennsylvania, I left at eighteen for the Army. After two tours to Iraq, and three years as a Drill Sergeant at Fort Jackson, I left the military and began selling new homes for a local builder. In my spare time, I started to paint. Growing up with a painter father, I always assumed I’d end up painting, but never took my ambitions seriously until recently. Now that I’ve found a calling as an artist, I can’t imagine a life without painting ever again. It’s something that I do every single day and seems to have become a deeply rooted part of who I am. My favorite artist’s work to study is Vincent Van Gogh’s. His command of color and exquisite compositions tell a story that words cannot, and forged a path for all painters that came after him. I identify with so many aspects of his thinking during his short-lived tenure as an artist, and at this stage in my art career, the following excerpt from a letter to his brother Theo resonates with me. “I now consider myself to be at the beginning of the beginning of making something serious.”—Vincent van Gogh, Etten, on or about December 23, 1881, to Theo van Gogh.

My wife Beth has been very supportive of this need for me to constantly paint and I can’t thank her enough to cheering me on.

All of my available paintings can be found at

Robert Rasely