Rural Missouri - February 2020 - 22
"Soon I was being interviewed about my work and getting commissions from other hotels and businesses for
large framed pieces, as well as ceiling and wall murals," he
says. "It was quite a rush."
In 1974, Brian made his first trip across the pond to
the United States to do another series of paintings for the
Lowes hotels of New York. Enamored by the new world he
found himself in, he set out to see every state, painting
whatever caught his artistic eye.
"I've seen the Andes, traveled the Amazon and worked
for circuses," he recalls. "I've met people who'd never seen
other humans besides their own tribe before. The world is
an amazing place, full of visions to paint and create.
"I played harmonica and sketched to make money as I
traveled," Brian says. "That's not everyone's ideal life, but I
would do it over again, if I could."
Eventually his travels led him through the Ozarks,
where he fell in love with the beauty of Missouri. He eventually purchased a condemned 1890s two-story general
store and began restoring it himself.
Brian named the building Tower House Studio. The
large open downstairs area allows him to paint, work on
sculptures and backdrops when commissioned while the
upstairs is an open loft apartment where he lives.
The large space, with an expansive wall area, has
allowed him to work on dozens of touring shows such as
"Beauty and The Beast," "Into The Woods," "Little Mermaid" and "The Promise".
He says when he works on backdrops he usually doesn't
read the script first, just listens to what the director wants
so he can interpret that and make a functional, good looking piece. "I just let my imagination run with the idea,"
says Brian. "That method has always worked for me."
Most days now find Brian working in his Galena studio, usually on large sculptures, but you can see art from
throughout his life framed and hanging on one large wall.
The small entry room showcases some of his unique sculpture work. His most recent piece is ready to head to a
foundry to be cast upon purchase.
"I call her Lady Justice," he says of the 9-foot-7-inch
figure standing in the studio. "I created her on speculation
in hopes someone like The American Bar Association or
a state capitol, courthouse or law school might purchase
The giant dog sculpture and red dragon currently greet
guests in the front entrance of the studio. "The dragon is
also a rocking chair. There's usually a line down the street
at Halloween when the dragon is really spewing smoke.
Everybody wants a photo taken with it."
His sculpture, Angel at Patmos, stands in the front window and usually puzzles people, according to the artist. "It
can seem a bit ominous or odd until I explain what it represents to me. It's a little deep."
Top: Seahorse molds lean on a machine Brian built to help him make
silicone molds for objects. Right: A giant paintbrush dripping with
paint serves as Brian's logo sign in the foyer of Tower House Studio in
RURAL MISSOURI | FEBRUARY 2020
Rural Missouri - February 2020
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