From Krishna Adams, Director of Visual Arts, Craft, Media and Design –
Felix Maxwell has made a name for himself as a photorealist artist, gallery owner, and educator. Born in Cornersville, TN, and a long-time Lewisburg resident, he has taught artists in Middle Tennessee for over 27 years – by exhibiting his works and sharing time-honed techniques.
While attending art classes at a young age, Maxwell fell in love with using pastels as a medium and never looked back. The desire to portray stories through visual art continued to grow. Eventually, it led Maxwell to earn a fine arts degree in drawing and painting from The Academy of Art University in San Francisco, CA. He studied anatomy to better define the realistic figures and portraits in his paintings and drawings to further refine his talents.
Maxwell can often be spotted visiting parks and jazz venues with a camera in his hand when not in his studio. Maxwell likes to gather photographic moments he feels guided to that will begin the process of capturing and creating a story. By observing and noting poignant moments of everyday life, the sharp contrasts of color, the effects of light and shadow, and facial expressions, he is quick to acknowledge this gift and begins to document the moment with permission. Upon returning to his studio, the transformation from idea to story begins. Maxwell will select a photograph that speaks to him, then sketches the image on canvas with a pencil.
Interestingly, he approaches the canvas by filling it in from top to bottom each time. He refined this method from spending so many years drawing with pastels that easily smudge. He continues to use this approach even when the medium changes. By the time Maxwell reaches the bottom of the canvas, a story has been born.
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“I enjoy the challenge of creating a new and original piece of artwork so much that if I miss one day working in my studio, then a sense of guilt sets in, and thoughts of losing my gift surface.” – Maxwell
In Nashville, his portraits and landscapes have been shown at the Premier Art Décor and Designs Gallery, the Cumberland Gallery Group, Tennessee State University, Tennessee State Museum, The Parthenon, Bethlehem Center of Nashville, among others. He also created a mural of C.D. Stamps for the Stamps Community Center in Tullahoma. Frequently, you can find his work displayed at the Marshall County Art Guild Gallery and Studio where he also teaches.
His drawings and paintings can be found in collections including the Dollar General Corporation Art Collection, the Metropolitan Courthouse in Nashville, Tennessee State University’s Permanent Collection at Hiram Van Gordon Gallery, the Tart Collection in Nashville, Nissan Engineering and Manufacturing in Smyrna, and Nashville Metropolitan Courthouse Criminal Court where he was commissioned to paint the portrait of Chief Justice Aldopho A. Birch Jr. of the Tennessee Supreme Court. To learn more about Maxwell’s work, check out his website.
Felix Maxwell: A Personal Vision in Realism
Artist Online Talk
Tuesday, February 15, 2022 at 11a.m. Central/12p.m. Eastern