Showcasing the Arts

January/February 2018 Featured Artist:
Steve Clay


Steve Clay
When he sees something that inspires him, Glasgow artist Steve Clay takes in the sights and sounds that resonate with him, translating that into work that will resonate with those who view his art.
As a child I gravitated toward drawing and coloring. I used the pages of coloring books to experiment with color and shading. Middle school had me looking forward to the once-a-week art class, and it was through my high school art classes that I found the expression and style I still use.

As I create art today, I focus on the essential part of the whole. Looking directly into a headlight or trunk of a car the viewer can enjoy the inherent beauty of the composition and contemplate its mysterious history: feeling the energy, the repose, the peace; hearing the wind, the buzzing insects; reflecting on a memory. Traveling around south central Kentucky, my camera beside me, I am aware that all around me there are sights and sounds that resonate with me and, hopefully, with my audience.

To create a watercolor, I choose one of my photographs. I print the photo, then using different sized mat frames, I manipulate them to discover the perspective that peaks my imagination. With perspective in place, I begin with a grid and sketch. I under paint with blues and purples for depth, value and contrast. The finished piece is composed of multiple layers of paint, which come together to create the artistic aspect I desire. I use paint from Windsor Newton and 300-pound Arches paper.

I have not studied extensively, but the artists that I have come into contact with have made a profound impression on my work and me. Peg Truman, an artist and teacher, encouraged me while I was a student of hers at Bowling Green Vocational School. During that time, I was featured in both the Warren and Barren County bicentennial calendars.

Steve CalyA lifestyle change and a new job in 2005 brought me in contact with professional artist Wes Rigsby. He and I have collaborated over the years, traveling the back roads of Barren County with our cameras, looking for old things that evoke nostalgia for an era and the area. These drives have helped me develop my sense of design. As I begin to paint, it is Wes with his talent and training who has taught me how to be more effective with color. It was Wes Rigsby who encouraged me to enter my first exhibit and to think of myself as an artist.


Steve Clay
Glasgow, Ky.
More information: or 270-843-5511


Page last updated: January 7, 2019
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