21 Under 31 | David McLeod

By Bonnie Gangelhoff

David McLeod, Reticence, oil, 24 x 16.

David McLeod, Reticence, oil, 24 x 16.

ART EDUCATION: Bachelor of fine arts, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN. I also apprenticed with artist Michael Shane Neal.
STYLE: Painterly realism. I want to give as much value to the medium as to the subject.
MOST INTERESTING THING ABOUT THE WAY YOU WORK: When I’m working on larger studio pieces, my mind is constantly darting to the scores of small sketches I made prior to starting as well as to various other sources of inspiration. If I can integrate the mood of a folk song or the taste of a fine Belgian beer, then I have succeeded as an artist.
SECOND-CHOICE CAREER: Chef. I’m a good cook, and it’s a fun canvas to work on.
BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: From my mentor Michael Shane Neal: “You are an artist first, not a painter or a drawer, but an artist.”
CREATIVE SPARK: The world around me and my relationships with my wife and closest friends. Other artists, living and dead. Music, movies, and books. I am reading Ray Bradbury right now. His ability to react to the world around him and integrate his art is very inspiring.
ONE THING MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU: I have a degree in engineering from Vanderbilt University. As a child, I loved building with LEGOS, and thought I might have a future in designing their products. A lot of the tools I currently use in my studio are things I have made.
FUTURE GOALS: To be a painter to the day I die. To have children. Simple but rich goals.
PRICE RANGE: $600 to $6,000.
REPRESENTATION: www.davidbrucemcleod.com.

Featured in our annual “21 Under 31″ issue in September 2010