North Tampa is full of talented artists who have their work showcased at the Carrollwood Cultural Center or the Life Enrichment Center in Forest Hills.
One of those artists is Bill Koehler who recently talked to Patch about his influences and where the community can see his work.
Patch: How did you get started as an artist?
Koehler : Other than enjoying drawing perspectives in my art class in high school and doing well in my blue-print mechanical drawing class in college, I considered myself devoid of art talent. A few years ago, I accompanied my wife of 50 years to a "plein air" session outdoors at the University of Tampa - just to watch. A big pad and pencil were thrust at me and I began drawing what I saw - starting with bold perspectives of brick columns in the foreground of the buildings' minarets. I later added acrylic paint to my penciled sketch. When I completed this first-ever art piece, I presented it to my son, a graduate of this university. This began my policy of giving away or keeping all that I create. I thus remain an amateur.
Patch: Who or what influences you?
Koehler : Firstly, my art-talented wife, then those instructors and fellow students at the Life Enrichment Center who make me think, "Maybe I can paint something like that. Where's my pencil and sketch pad so I can get started?"
Patch: What are misconceptions that people have about artists?
Koehler: That most all are erstwhile bearded Beatniks from a past life that huddle around small round tables in their pre-owned clothes in outdoor cafes all day and talk art while they sip espresso from tiny cups.
Patch: What do you think your art says about you?
Koehler: That I might have some raw talent and that maybe soon I can make the transition from "mediocre" to "pretty good"; however I'll probably need to loosen up and become more free with my brush strokes.
Patch: Where can your art be seen?
Koehler : Barbara and I are currently "Artist of the Month" at the Life Enrichment Center and have most of our work displayed there.