Farmington — For the first time ever, Rod Hubble, a Farmington artist and art collector, will be showing his art collection at San Juan College.

A reception for the Rod Hubble Collection will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Henderson Fine Arts Gallery, 4601 College Blvd. in Farmington. The show will continue through Aug. 30.

For the past 40 years, Hubble has been painting and collecting art. Only a handful of the many pieces of art displayed at the Henderson Art Gallery are pieces Hubble has painted. The rest are art he has been given, bought or traded for. The paintings, sculptures and ceramics include work by Curt Walters, Mary Jane Masters, James Trigg and Barbara Byrom.

"It's been a great pleasure to know so many artists," Hubble said.

When collecting art, Hubble said he looks at color, composition and subject.

"I really love paintings of flowers," Hubble said.

He said the collection includes some portraits of himself, including one self-portrait, as well as a painting of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

Hubble's adventure in the art world began when he was a child looking at the art in his family's Bibles. He started to draw religious pictures of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Eventually, his teachers noticed his talent.

"I sort of became the class artist," Hubble said.

The teachers would have him draw things for class events and holidays, such as Thanksgiving turkeys and camels and wisemen for Christmas.

However, when Hubble went to college, he studied theater, and later, he started working various desk jobs.

"I really got tired of the desk jobs," he said.

In 1973, he quit his job with the Department of Labor in Farmington and moved to Manitou Springs, Colo., where he pursued a career in poetry.

A friend did watercolor illustrations to accompany Hubble's poetry and, one day, Hubble sat down with his friend to try his hand at painting. Hubble said he did such a good job that his friend gave him his art supplies and told him to pursue painting.

"Art is a great thing," Hubble said. "I think it saved me."

Hubble said the art saved him from thinking he didn't have anything to offer the world.

"I don't know what made me start to do it," Hubble said.

He said starting painting was a happy accident. A lot of his paintings are done on site, often depicting natural scenes.

"The more you look at something to draw or paint it, the more perceptive you become of all of nature," Hubble said.

Hannah Grover covers news, arts and religion for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 and hgrover@daily-times.com. Follow her @hmgrover on Twitter.