What: "Now... Rise A Knight," a Travis Bruce Black art exhibit
When: Reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday
Where: Henderson Fine Arts Gallery, San Juan College, 4601 College Blvd.
More info: 505-566-3464
FARMINGTON — Travis Bruce Black always knew he wanted to be an artist.
In middle school, that's what he told his school counselor, who discouraged him by telling him he'd be living off "ketchup and crackers."
Despite that advice, Black studied graphic design at a community college in Lansing, Mich. There, his mentor advised him to pursue the fine arts aspect. So Black began painting, which got him his first art show. And then his career in the art world began.
Starting Friday, Black's art will be displayed at the Henderson Fine Arts Gallery at San Juan College.
One of the big transitions in Black's career happened when he was approached about doing bird illustrations for a poetry book. While the book was never published, it got Black hooked on painting birds. So far, he has completed 292 bird paintings.
"I continue to paint birds because I think life is just fascinating and mysterious," Black said.
He explained that he paints birds as a symbol of nature and life.
"I try to paint it in a way that looks beautiful and challenges me to feel into the mystery of my own existence," Black said.
While he is an avid bird watcher and often feeds hummingbirds, Black said his paintings don't represent a certain kind of bird.
"I'm not really married to the idea that it has to represent a species," Black said.
He works off photographs of birds, but he often changes the colors and the form.
Black compared creating art to going on a journey.
"It's like every day you're going to a new place you've never been," he said.